Inside Islamic State’s new stronghold in Libya: ‘Isil beheaded my friend for witchcraft – he did acupuncture’

Sitting in the shabby parlour of his temporary home, Haaji Mohammed can barely bring himself to watch the Isil video playing on his mobile phone. The film was made just last month – yet the horrific scenes it shows could be from 500 years ago.

Kneeling before a masked executioner are two men in orange jumpsuits, charged under a statute that drags even the medieval barbarity of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to new depths. The pair are accused of “sorcery”, and just as in witchcraft trials of old, justice is swift, brutal and dispensed to the sound of a baying mob.