IS video purports to show beheading of hostage

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BAGHDAD: Islamic State (IS) militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Sept 13 (Saturday), that purported to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.

Reuters could not immediately verify the footage. But the images were consistent with that of the filmed executions of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in the past month.

Haines, a 44-year-old father of two from Perth, Scotland, was kidnapped last year, while working for the French agency Acted.

The video entitled A Message to the Allies of America, opened with United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister David Cameron talking about working with the Iraqi government and allied Kurdish Peshmerga forces to defeat IS.

“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State,” said a masked man dressed in black with a British accent, standing over Haines, who was shown kneeling and wearing an orange jumpsuit.

The video then showed the beheading of the kneeling man.

At the end of the video, another hostage, identified as Alan Henning, was shown and the masked man said he would be killed if Cameron continued to support the fight against IS.

Cameron condemned the killing and said he would bring the killers to justice.

“This is a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker. It is an act of pure evil ... We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”

United States President Barack Obama strongly condemned “the barbaric murder” of Haines and vowed to work with other countries to “destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world.”

“The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight (Saturday) with our close friend and ally, in grief and resolve,” Obama said in a statement. “We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world, to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice.”

In the video, Haines also spoke, saying Cameron was responsible for his execution. “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor, Tony Blair, did,” he said.

“Following a trend amongst our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans. Unfortunately, it is we, the British public, that will in the end, pay the price for our Parliament’s selfish decisions.” — Reuters

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on Sept 15, 2014.