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Beheading video is a colloquial term in the U.S. used during the "War on Terror" for videos released by Islamist militant groups depicting interviews by hostages taken by said groups. The prelude to these videos usually show the subject alive and pleading for their lives sometimes accompanied by their captors, sometimes not. The demands made are usually broad and general, such as total withdrawal of the hostage's nation's military forces from a particular Middle Eastern country, usually Iraq. Invariably a video depicting the actual beheading is released a few days later.
A hoax beheading video by Benjamin Vanderford received wide attention by the American press. The creators of the video claimed to have released the video to point out how uncritically the mainstream media would accept an anonymous video (the video turned up on U.S. media outlets immediately).
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