An executioner infamous for stoning and throwing gay men off of roofs has been arrested.
After receiving a tip from locals, Iraqi security forces captured Abu Omer, known as “White Beard” due to his facial hair, on January 1. News of his arrest was first reported by residents to the AhlulBayt News Agency, according to The Mirror.
The high-ranking member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, was discovered in a safe house in Mosul, where he had been hiding after the city had been retaken from the terrorist group in 2017. A photograph appears to confirm his capture.
For years, videos of grisly executions of men accused of being gay have been used as homophobic propaganda from ISIS. These “death to gays” videos are released on social media and often reported on by international media. Many were filmed in Mosul, where ISIS seized power in 2014.
Omer reportedly appeared in many photographs of the execution sites, inspecting rocks or reading charges to the victims.
Followers of ISIS's extreme ideology believe in the death penalty for same-sex relations or sex outside of marriage. Using social media and phone records, they hunt down men believed to be gay in the real world. The victims may be flogged, beheaded, buried alive, physically mutilated, hanged, and left to die of exposure in the desert, according to the Human Rights Campaign.