WASHINGTON: The Islamic militant group claimed Saturday it beheaded British aid worker David Haines, in what would be the third such execution in recent weeks, after two US journalists were shown murdered.
The Islamist group released a video, available on the website of private terrorism monitoring group SITE, purportedly showing a masked militant beheading Haines.
The two-minute-27-second video titled “A Message to the Allies of America” blames British Prime Minister David Cameron for joining forces with the United States, which has said it is at “war” with the militants and launched air strikes against them in Iraq.
“You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the ISIS, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend amongst our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans,” the executioner says in the video.
The militant, who may be the same man as in the previous videos, told Britain the alliance will “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war.”
He also threatened to execute another British hostage.
Scottish-born Haines, 44, was taken hostage in Syria in March 2013 and was threatened in a video released this month depicting the beheading by an IS militant of the US journalist Steven Sotloff.
Haines had been working for the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), an international relief charity, and was previously involved in humanitarian work in the Balkans, parts of Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Sotloff and fellow US journalist James Foley had also been kidnapped in Syria. IS released a video claiming Foley’s execution on August 19, and Sotloff’s two weeks later on September 2.
ISIS murder of British hostage an ‘act of pure evil’: Cameron
The beheading of a British hostage by ISIS militants was an “act of pure evil,” Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday, vowing Britain will do all in its power to bring the killers to justice.
Reacting to the video, the British premier said that “this is a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker,” and 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.”
Cameron will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee on Sunday in response to an online video purportedly showing a masked militant killing Haines.
The video appeared a day after the aid worker’s family on Saturday appealed to his captors to contact them.
Prime Minster Cameron tweeted that his “heart goes out to his family who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude.”
Britain’s Foreign Office said they were “working as quickly as we can to try and verify” the video.