ISIL releases new video of UK hostage

Video purports to show journalist John Cantlie saying he will soon reveal "facts" to counter portrayal of ISIL in West.

    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has released a video that purports to show British journalist John Cantlie in captivity saying he will soon reveal "facts" about the group to counter its portrayal in Western media.

    In the roughly three-minute video posted on social media sites on Thursday, the man identified as Cantlie appears in good health and promises to "convey some facts" in a series of "programmes," suggesting there would be further instalments.

    "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?" the man in the video, wearing an orange shirt and closely-cropped hair, says. 

    "Well, it's 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."

    ISIL 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 US air strikes against it in Iraq.

    British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he had heard reports of a video on social media and said authorities would look closely at any material released online.

    "These videos can be very distressing for the families of the individuals involved," he told reporters during a visit to Copenhagen.

    US President Barack Obama has been trying to build an international coalition to destroy ISIL, a Sunni Muslim group that has exploited the chaos of Syria and Iraq to seize swathes of territory in both countries.

    The United States has already carried out scores of air strikes against the group in Iraq and Obama said in a policy
    speech he would not hesitate to strike it in Syria as well.

    Briton threatened

    In the video, titled "Lend Me Your Ears, Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie," the man identified as Cantlie says he was captured by ISIL after arriving in Syria in November 2012.

    He says he worked for newspapers and magazines in Britain including the Sunday Times , the Sun and the Sunday Telegraph .

    "After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?" the man says in the video.

    "I'm going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media, the very organisation I used to work for, can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home."

    Cantlie said other Western governments have negotiated for the release of their hostages but that the British and US governments chose to do things differently.

    No ISIL fighters appear in the video, which was posted online by users associated with the group and reported by the SITE Intelligence Group, a US terrorism watchdog.

    In addition to beheading US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines, ISIL has threatened to kill Alan Henning, a British former taxi driver who was taken captive in December shortly after joining an aid convoy and crossing the border from Turkey into Syria.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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