Al Qaeda and the Taliban are executing suspected U.S. informants in Pakistan in a campaign to terrorize potential spies and reinforce the authority of the militant organizations across the country's vast and volatile tribal belt.
Most of the murders take place after accused informants have confessed to spying for the Americans. Some suspects were caught with satellite telephones and global positioning devices identical to equipment provided by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Dour men in traditional clothing sell the videos at markets in the tribal region for as little as $1 each. The images are astonishingly brutal. The camera never flinches as the executioners - one, a sweet-faced boy who looks 12 or 13 - sever the heads of helpless men to chants glorifying God.