16 January 2018

IS hostage John Cantlie appears in propaganda video

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British journalist John Cantlie appears in a new ISIS propaganda video recently recorded in Mosul, Iraq.

In the video, which was published Wednesday, a bearded Cantlie appears thin, wearing a heavy dark coat and black trousers. He describes how allied forces bombed four of five bridges that span the River Tigris and how the bridges' destruction has hurt residents of the city.

Cantlie also talks about the bombing of water pipes that supply large parts of the city.

The last time Cantlie was seen alive was in a July ISIS propaganda video. Iraqi security officials told CNN that the newest Cantlie video appears to have been recorded within the last few days.

In that video, an eight-minute recording, Cantlie is seen standing and speaking to the camera on the west side of the so-called "Old Bridge," a narrow steel girder structure that he says is the last passable bridge over the River Tigris that divides the city.
US airstrikes on Thanksgiving Day disabled the four other bridges.

Cantlie was taken hostage while reporting in Syria in November 2012. Unlike other Western hostages who were killed by ISIS, Cantlie has been repeatedly utilized as a host of ISIS propaganda videos.

Like in earlier videos, Cantlie does not use the religious language almost always used by ISIS leaders. He does, though, convey information from an ISIS perspective.

ISIS has carried out executions, including beheadings, in attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate stretching from Syria into Iraq. In many cases, ISIS -- which refers to itself as the Islamic State -- has videotaped the executions and posted them online.

Several journalists have been captured and killed by ISIS, including US journalist James Foley. Foley, who had been missing in Syria since November 2012, was shown being decapitated by ISIS militants in a video posted on YouTube on August 19, 2014.

The militants then threatened the life of another captured US journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff.

On September 2, 2014, ISIS released a video showing the beheading of Sotloff. Sotloff's apparent executioner speaks in the same British accent as the man who purportedly killed Foley.

Iraqi security forces have been fighting since early October to recapture Iraq's second largest city from ISIS.

2016.12.08 / 09:36
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