British hostage John Cantlie appears in new ISIL video

Published November 23rd, 2014 - 08:49 GMT

John Cantlie, the British hostage being held by ISIS, has been used in a new slickly-produced video released by the insurgents in which he admits that he is likely to be executed.

The photojournalist, who was captured last year while working in Syria, is seen addressing the camera in the propaganda video as he also reveals details of an apparent botched US raid to rescue him and his fellow captives. 

In the lecture-style footage, titled Lend Me Your Ears Episode 6, Mr Cantlie appears to be reading from a prepared script as he sits behind a desk wearing an orange jumpsuit.

It is the seventh video that ISIS has released that shows the British hostage. 

The clip, which lasts for almost nine minutes, opens with the 43-year-old photojournalist giving an account of what he claims was a failed rescue attempt by American forces on July 4 - American Independence Day. 

He goes on to say that he has 'accepted' that he will suffer the 'same fate' as his executed cellmates but that he blames the British and American governments and not the insurgents, who he refers to as the mujahideen.

Asked about this latest video, Foreign Office spokesman said: 'We are aware of a further video and are analysing its contents.' 

It comes just days after a video purporting to show the severed head of US aid worker Peter Kassig and a mass murder of Syrian soldiers emerged.

Since August, IS has filmed and posted online the deaths of four Western hostages. British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines and American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were beheaded on camera by the jihadi organisation.

In the most recent video from the militants, which has been posted online, Mr Cantlie looks gaunt as he delivers his lecture from inside a dark room.

He begins by saying: 'In this programme I will tell you about a failed raid to rescue us and how it feels to be left for dead by your own government.'

It marks a departure from the last video of Mr Cantlie - released last month - which saw him being used as a news reporter from the battle-ravaged city of Kobane. 

In the latest clip, Mr Cantlie goes on to claim that the Americans staged an 'incredibly complex, risky and expensive' attempt to rescue hostages in July.

He said: 'The raid involved two dozen Delta Force commandos, several Black Hawk helicopters, gunships, Predator drones, F18 Hornet Jets and refuelling aircraft.

'It took weeks of rehearsals and must have cost tens of millions to perform - but we weren't there.

'The Islamic State, anticipating such a move, just put us into cars and moved us to another prison days beforehand.'  

He also admits that he 'long ago' 'accepted' that his fate will be 'overwhelmingly the same as his cellmates'.

But while he says that he blames Prime Minister David Cameron and President Obama for his situation - not his captors.

He also claims that the leaders knew he was being held hostage for 'more than a year' and added that they were aware that they could be beheaded.  

He said: 'Obama and Cameron act all shocked and appalled each time one of us is killed but they have known this was coming for months. 

'They have known our six names, who was holding us, and the consequences of not negotiating for over a year. 

'So for them to act all shocked each time one of us is executed is a massive lie to the public and our families.

'Long ago I accepted that my fate would be overwhelmingly the same as my cellmates and I am angry about it.'

We are not big people. We are not special. We are not US soldiers. But we are no more less important than everyone else who went home. 
 

He claimed that the leaders are 'treating their lives like a gamble, like a roll of the dice,' and said that their actions felt like the 'ultimate betrayal'. 

He also accuses Britain and America of taking military action rather than negotiating the release of hostages through options such as ransom payments.

He says: 'We were left to die. It's the worse feeling in the world being left behind like that. 

'We have been in the longest, paid our dues, watched everyone else go home, never stopped believing and wham! Have some of that. You're not worth negotiating for.'

He focuses on the French government's record for paying out ransom demands, stating that 'since 2008, France has reportedly paid $58 million of ransom payments to different Islamic groups, nearly 10 million a year.'

The British journalist comments: 'Wouldn't it be cheaper to release the Muslim prisoners as asked?'

He also raises the case of Bowe Robert Bergdahl, a US Army soldier who was held captive by the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network in Afghanistan from June 2009 until his release in May 2014. 

Mr Cantlie says: 'He was one man. We were six and Islamic State asked for Muslim prisoners in exchange for all of us. Yes, Bergdahl was a soldier and three of us were British but a civilian live, all six of them, not worth discussing?' 

He added: 'We are not big people. We are not special. We are not US soldiers. But we are no more less important than everyone else who went home.'


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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