A new propaganda video has published online by militants from the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) showing kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie.
Unlike the previous three videos released by IS, this video entitled “Lend me you ears” does not show the execution of a prisoner, but instead shows Cantlie speaking directly to the camera.
In his coerced video statement, Cantlie says that he is a prisoner of IS, but blames the US and UK governments for his continued imprisonment. He said that he has been abandoned by the UK government, and compares his fate to captured journalists from other European countries who were freed after their governments negotiated with IS and paid ransoms.
He also asks why the US and UK governments appear to be once again marching towards another “unwinnable conflict” in the Middle East and goes on to say that this video is the first of a series he will record.[spoiler title=”Transcript of video”]John Cantlie:
“Hello, my name is John Cantlie. I’m a British journalist who used to work for some of the bigger newspapers and magazines in the UK, including the Sunday Times, The Sun, and The Sunday Telegraph.
In November 2012 i came to Syria, where i was subsequently captured by the Islamic State. Now, nearly 2 years later, many things have changed, including the expansion of the Islamic State to include large areas of Eastern Syria and Western Iraq—a land mass bigger than Britain, and many other nations.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “he’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner he’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this,” right? Well, it’s true.
I am a prisoner, that I cannot deny. But seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hand of the Islamic State I have nothing to lose. Maybe I will live and maybe i will die, but I want to take this opportunity to convey some facts that you can verify, facts that if you contemplate might help in preserving lives.
Over the next few programmes I’m going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State. After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?
I’m going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media—the very organisation I used to work—for can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home. There are two sides to every story—Think you’re getting the whole picture?
And I’ll show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State, and how the British and American governments thought they could do it differently to every other European country. They negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home, while the British and Americans were left behind.
It’s very alarming to see where this is all headed and it looks like history repeating itself, yet again. There is time to change this seemingly inevitable sequence of events, but only if you, the public act now.
Join me for the next few programmes, and I think you may be surprised at what you learn.”
Cantlie was previously kidnapped when crossing into Syria near Bab al Hawa on 19 July 2012, but was rescued after seven days of torment and mock executions by a Free Syrian Army unit.
Despite his ordeal, Cantlie soon returned to Syria to continue reporting on the bloody civil war but went silent soon after crossing the border in late 2012 and he was presumed kidnapped.
The photojournalist and correspondent was reportedly sold to IS in a group of kidnapped westerners that included James Foley, the US reporter killed by IS in the first propaganda video.
He is now believed to be held in Raqqa, Syria, the de facto capital of the Islamic State along with other kidnapped western journalists and aid workers.