TEHRAN (Christian Examiner) – Iranian authorities have seized a cargo shipment bound for Islamic State-held territory containing multiple guillotines, the semi-official Iranian news agency FARS reported Feb. 7.
Vahid Dashtbani, director-general of Iran's Customs Office for Transit Affairs, told an Iranian daily newspaper Sunday that the devices were "designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading."
The tools, however, were likely not guillotines in the traditional sense (such as those used during the French Revolution), but instead industrial-strength paper cutters capable of removing heads and arms swiftly and with surgical precision.
A recently published video (edited to remove the most graphic content) showed ISIS pronouncing sentence over a thief before a crowd of townspeople. The thief then had has hand sliced off with the paper cutter, referred to in the ISIS video as a "guillotine."
In another video (not linked here because it is too graphic), the heavy blade of the instrument was shown detached from the paper cutter and wielded like a sword to behead six captives with a single stroke for qisas or retaliation. The men were reportedly Syrian soldiers linked to a car bombing which killed "innocent" ISIS soldiers and supporters.
According to the report, the head of Iran's cyber police Brig. Gen. Seyed Kamal Hadianfar said Iran has become a key hub of operations for the terror group, but the country claims it is shutting cells down as quickly as the pop up.
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Hadianfar said 53 ISIS-linked terrorists had been arrested and the cyber police had identified 285 websites affiliated with those who support ISIS inside Iran. He said 108 websites supporting ISIS were hosted outside of the country but were shut down with the help of Interpol.
It is unknown if the suspected terrorists are, in fact, members of ISIS or if the moniker is a convenient title to ascribe to the regime's political opponents marked for removal from society. Many are accused of being spies for – of all countries – the United States.
Iran's deputy minister of intelligence for domestic security, unnamed in the story, told FARS the U.S. and "certain regional reactionary states" – Saudi Arabia presumably among them – had infiltrated Iran with plans to conduct at least 10 bombings.
Iran's Intelligence Minister Seyed Mahmoud Alavi claimed ISIS is "a protégé of the US and Israel."