John Cantlie, the British journalist who has been held hostage in Iraq since 2012, has appeared in a new video made by Islamic State and posted online. He seems to be in Mosul and is shown as if presenting a news report following a script that ridicules the US strategy to bring an end to the extremist group.
Cantlie is shown standing by bombed-out shelters close to a main road, asking why the US uses planes to destroy kiosks that are used to distribute Isis propaganda pamphlets and cost “about $50 to build”. Addressing the camera like he presenting a television programme, he says: “After 20 months and $5bn, America has successfully destroyed an Islamic State media kiosk.
“If this is what Obama meant about degrading and ultimately destroying Isis, he’s clearly got a long way to go yet. And you know what’s really just amazing, given the amount of money that America is spending on this war, it would go to the effort of destroying a small shack like this, in the middle of Mosul.” He suggests the kiosk, which cost $50 (£35), to build was targeted because the US is “bankrupt of intelligence” on Isis targets.
The Hampshire-born reporter was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012, on his second visit to report on the country’s war, alongside American James Foley, who was later killed on camera by Isis. Cantile has been used by ISIS to front several films and he also writes a column in the Isis magazine Dabiq, in which he attacks and praises his captors. Cantlie’s father, Paul, passed away two years after he was taken captive, after he begged for his son’s freedom. His sister, Jessica, has criticized the government’s inability to help him gain freedom.
Rita Katz, of SITE intelligence group, was of the opinion that the video referred to US raids on Thursday. The Foreign Office said yesterday it was “looking at the contents of this latest video”.
Isis group are thought to be holding at least six people captive, including Cantlie, in Iraq and Syria.
Source; The Guardian