A man and a boy featured in an Islamic State group propaganda video that threatens Jews and shows the killing of a Palestinian have been identified as French citizens, and investigators are looking into whether the man is related to a terrorist who attacked a Jewish school in southern France in 2012, an official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The terrorist group claimed the Palestinian was an agent for the Mossad and the adult in the video made reference to the targeting of Jews both in Europe and ultimately in Israel. But the man’s father told The Associated Press he had simply regretted his decision to join IS and was killed because he wanted to go home.
The White House noted the video comes amid signs of dissent within IS ranks and reports of IS fighters being executed while trying to flee and defect, suggesting the group was flailing under increased pressure.
The man in the video, released late Tuesday, speaks with a southern French accent and investigators are probing if he could be a person who has been identified variously as the step-brother or half-brother of Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people in attacks on a Jewish school and paratroopers in the south of France beginning on March 11, 2012 — exactly three years ago.