Abu Asrael (still from video)
Abu Asrael otherwise known as the ‘father of archangel of death’ a Shi’a fighter known for his prowess on the battlefield has appeared in a gruesome new video clip. According to the Daily Mail, the 40 year old, axe wielding former university lecturer (all “beard and biceps”) joined Imam Ali brigade, a Iraqi Shi’a militia group sponsored by Iran to fight against the Islamic State. Asrael also known as ‘the Iraqi Rambo’ and ‘Daesh Killer’ is referred to in the Interpreter as follows,
“his catchphrase, Ila Taheen (‘I will grind you [ISIS] to dust’) has gone viral, registering millions of views and reposts worldwide, and has even been made into a song. Reputedly a former professor and martial arts champion with experience training in Lebanon with Hezbollah and fighting against American troops in the Iraqi insurgency of the early 2000s, Abu Azrael has become a hero for many Shia Iraqis.”
Slicing into burning victim (video still)
Asrael who is said to have a taunting sense of humour and in some photos bears a resemblance to the A Team’s B. A. Baracus played by actor Mr T in the 1980 TV series is seen standing bearing a large sword and stick in the short video clip. He stands beside a figure tied upside down to what looks like an electricity pylon. The head (said to be of a man) though hard to tell in the footage, is burning and the body blackened and smouldering. Asrael lifts his sword and appears to carve into the body with an apparent reference to slicing shawarma (grilled meat) according to one tweet. It is disturbing to imagine to what extent the person may have suffered.
Social Media responses
Charlie Winter tweeted,
celeb militiaman Abu Azrael was filmed mutilating corpse of
#IS-er he allegedly burned to death. He’s one of the good guys, right?
You know the Iraqi militias hero Abu Azrael? Video of him burning and cutting a man, saying he’s like shawarma (grilled meat)
(Image Daily Mail)
According to Real Iran, Asrael was “honored by the Iraqi people in Abbas Holy Shrine and met the Iranian Gen. Qasim Sulaimani.” He is also said to have visited Imam Reza Holy Shrine in Iran and “met several Iranians who are concerned about ISIS barbaric attacks and the situation of Iraqi people.”
Asrael is a popular figure for Shi’a with a Facebook page of fans following his activities. The video may cause some discomfort to those in the west that have championed the fighter in his battles against IS, he is certainly a match for them in his methods.
Coconut Professor who shared the gruesome video on Twitter said,
Western newspaper (
#DailyMail) glorifying Abu Azrael leader of Shia militias (war criminal)
Some were calling for the paper to condemn his actions.
I Muted You tweeted
I’m seeing people defend Abu Azrael, who burned a man presumed to be ISIS alive and cut into his body, and it is disgusting.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.