A third British hostage has appeared in a new Islamic State (ISIS) propaganda video. British journalist John Cantlie, who has been missing since 2012, appeared in a new video released by ISIS today (the video has not yet been verified by officials.)
The video is apparently a propaganda video, unlike the violent videos previously released by ISIS. No ISIS militants are seen in the video, which is entitled “Lend Me Your Ears” and is addressed to the Western public. Cantile is seen sitting behind a desk in a darkened room, clothed in orange like previous hostages filmed by ISIS. In the video, the British journalist speaks about the war in Syria, and how the situation has changed since he arrived in 2012. Cantlie worked for The Sunday Times, The Sun, and The Sunday Telegraph.
“In November 2012, I came to Syria, where I was subsequently captured by the Islamic State. Now, nearly two years later, many things have changed, including the expansion of the IS to include large areas of eastern Syria and western Iraq, a land mass bigger than Britain and many other nations. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking he’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this, right? Well, it is true, I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny, but seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of the Islamic State, I have nothing to lose. Maybe I will live and maybe I will die.”
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner said the hostage was speaking to the camera “under duress.”
“It doesn’t end with any overt threat… And he’s reading from a script, there’s no knife or gun being held to his head,”
It comes just a day after more than 100 Muslim leaders signed a statement begging ISIS to release British aid worker Alan Henning.
ISIS, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks, in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against the group in Iraq. On Tuesday, ISIS released another video, a trailer for a film entitled “Flames of War.” The trailer shows wounded US troops, masked executioners standing over kneeling captives, and declares at the conclusion: “Fighting has just begun.”
The United States has already carried out scores of air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, and Obama said in a policy speech, he would not hesitate to strike ISIS in Syria as well.
[Image via The New York Times]