ISIS [Daesh] threatened Sunday night to start torturing nine Lebanese captives as revenge for videos leaked over the weekend showing inmates being severely beaten by guards in the notorious Roumieh Prison.
ISIS militants are demanding the resignation of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, who said Saturday he assumed full responsibility for the torture of inmates in Lebanon’s largest prison, Hussein Youssef, the father of an ISIS captive, told The Daily Star.
ISIS pressured the families into pushing for Machnouk’s resignation by giving them a 72-hour deadline before the torture would commence, Youssef said.
The ISIS threat was sent to the families of the hostages on Sunday night via WhatsApp.
The Daily Star obtained a copy of the message.
“This is a message from the Islamic State that you should relay to your government,” the text read.
“You will not see anything from us but the extreme misery of your children.”
“By God, we did not treat the [hostages] the way your government treats our captives.”
“But your government tortured our brothers so we will torture your sons.”
The message also said that ISIS was going to allow the families to visit the captives after they had not had contact with them for more than five months.
The decision, however, was reversed after the torture footage was leaked, ISIS said.
The videos, published on social media sites over the weekend, show ISF members beating a handful of handcuffed and kneeling prisoners with a baton, groping them and kicking them in the face.
ISIS originally captured 11 Lebanese servicemen during an incursion into Arsal last August before beheading two. The Nusra Front holds another 16 servicemen.
Last week, the brother of a Lebanese soldier held captive by ISIS said that a mediator told him he received assurances from the extremist group that its nine hostages are still alive.
Nizam Mgheit, the brother of soldier Ibrahim Mgheit, said he received a call by Sheikh Wissam al-Masri, a religious figure who claims he mediates negotiations between the Lebanese government and ISIS.
Masri reportedly told Mgheit that he had received a phone call from an ISIS official assuring him that the hostages were alive.