Fact Check: Viral Video of Taliban Publicly Executing a Woman After Reclaiming Afghanistan

A disturbing video going viral on social media allegedly claims that an Afghanistan woman was shot dead by Taliban militants for stepping out of her house.

While debunking the video, Nexus News found out that the video is from 2015 suspected al Nusra members, a Syrian arm of al Qaeda, publicly executing a woman for alleged adultery.

In April, United States’ President Joe Biden announced the departure of all American troops by September 11, 2 decades after it occupied the country.

Last week, Taliban forces have moved to conquer major parts of Afghanistan including Herat and the capital city of Kabul.

Furthermore, the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan has brought the limelight back on the situation of women with the militant group’s harsh enforcement of banning women’s education, constraining women from leaving without a male chaperone and clothing themselves in a full abaya and appearing fully covered.

In the past, the penalty for ignoring the rules attracts timely and violent action for women including public flogging and being stoned to death.

The surging conflict in Afghanistan has also steered to several chunks of fake news going viral on social media about the Taliban wearing masks before taking over the country as well as old images shared posed as current events.


A reverse image search with the keywords ‘woman shot to death’ indicated a result for a story published by ‘Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently’, a citizen activist and journalists group reporting on crimes by the al Qaeda Syria.

A report by ‘Raqqa is being Slaughtered Silently’ was dated January 13, 2015 and alleged that the video revealed al-Nusra, the Syrian wing of terrorist group al Qaeda, publicly executing a woman accused of adultery in the al-Ma’arra region near Idlib in the country.

A search was ran for ‘al-Nusra publicly executes a woman’ which led to a report by Vice published on January 16, 2015 carrying screenshots from the video and further quoted a report by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirming the events.

Contained in the footage, suspected masked members of al Nusra Front, the Syrian arm of al Qaeda, encircle a woman in the streets.

Wearing black attire and a red jacket, the woman kneels to the ground and reportedly asks to see her children — a request that is denied, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR),” reported Vice. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, is a UK based organisation documenting human right abuses in Syria.

It was also established that the story was published on SOHR’s website in January 2015 where they quoted, Rami Abdulrahman, director of the organisation confirming the events.

Another story by wire agency Reuters published on January 14, 2015 said, “Islamic State, which split from al Qaeda and has seized land in Iraq and Syria, has beheaded and stoned to death Syrian and foreign civilians and combatants for crimes it sees as violating its strict interpretation of Islamic law. But Nusra Front, which sometimes fights alongside Western-backed insurgents in Syria as well as against them, has also carried out such killings or physical punishments after accusing people of violations such as insulting God or thievery.”


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