Videotape of British hostage beheading surfaces in Internet
A videotape of the beheading of British hostage Kenneth Bigley appeared Sunday on an Islamist Web site, showing the civil engineer pleading that he wanted "to live a simple life" moments before he was decapitated.
The tape showed Bigley, dressed in an orange jump suit and seated in front of seven armed, hooded men. Behind them was a banner of the Tawhid and Jihad group, the group led by Abu Musab al Zarqawi.
Bigley made a brief statement before his death, saying "I am not a difficult person. I am a simple man who wants to live a simple life." Addressing British Prime Minister Tony Blair, he then said: "More than ever I need your help."
"Here I am again, Mr. Blair," Bigley added. "Very, very close to the end of my life. You do not appear to have done anything at all to help me."
One of the hooded men then spoke, saying the British government "pretended to care about its people" but "they are lying." The speaker said the captors extended the deadline for Bigley's death to allow time for British authorities to meet their demand to release all female prisoners held in Iraq.
"Britain is not serious," the speaker stated. "So this malicious Briton has nothing except the sword."
Then, the speaker drew a knife from his belt, and three of the others grabbed Bigley, who pivoted to his left. The men shoved Bigley to the floor and cut of his head, which the killer then lifted in front of the camera.
In London, The Sunday Times reported that Bigley briefly fled his kidnappers by car on Wednesday after British intelligence helped bribe two of his kidnappers. It said he was recaptured minutes after this attempt and executed the next day.
Another British paper said Sunday Bigley may have spent as much as a night on the run before being recaptured. According to eyewitness accounts from the town where he was held, The Independent reported the escape led his abductors to mount a frantic house-to-house searc in Latifiya, a town south-west of Baghdad. Armed fighters also set up road-blocks as they scoured the town for Bigley.
The British engineer was eventually cornered, reportedly armed with a gun and in a change of clothing, in desolate farmland. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)