The Islamic State group released a video Thursday of British freelance journalist John Cantlie, in which he says he is being held captive after being kidnapped by the group after arriving in Syria in November 2012. Cantlie, wearing an orange jumpsuit, speaks to the camera in the style of a news report and promises to reveal in a series of programs the “truth” about the jihadist group that has seized parts of Iraq and Syria.
Speaking in English with Arabic subtitles, Cantlie says in the 3:21-minute video titled “Lend Me Your Ears,” that he plans to reveal “the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State.”
“Over the next few programmes, I am going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State,” he says.
“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 hands of the Islamic State I have nothing to lose.
“Over the next few programmes I’m going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State,” he continues.
“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 programs, and I think you may be surprised at what you learn,” he concludes.
Cantlie, believed to be 43, is a former reporter for The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph.
It was not clear when the video was shot, but in it Cantlie referred to recent events including IS taking control of large parts of Iraq in June.
Cantlie’s whereabouts are currently unknown but it is likely he is being held in Syria where other hostages US journalists James Foley, Steven Sotloff and UK aid worker David Haines, were murdered in IS’s de-facto capital of Raqqa.
He was previously kidnapped in Syria in July 2012 with Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans by a group of 40 extremists and were reportedly discovered and set free nine days later by men they took to be part of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
As the U.S. and allies began airstrikes on the Islamic State in Syria on Monday night, the Islamic State released a new installment in its “lecture series” delivered by British hostage, John Cantlie. The 5-minute, 55-second video is the second in less than a week.
“In this program, we’ll see how the Western governments are hastily marching towards all-out war in Iraq and Syria without paying any heed to the lessons of the recent past. And how they’re using the persuasive approach, to lure the public back into the conflict,” Cantlie says.
“So, let’s get straight to the point with a quote from former CIA chief turned vigorous anti-intervention campaigner Michael Scheuer. President Obama does not have the slightest intention of defeating the Islamic State, which would require the aerial slaughter, and boots on the ground demolishing of the Mujahideen.”
“The Obama administration is so perplexed as they march back into Iraq, but they’re tap-dancing around the issue in a we’re getting involved but we’re not getting involved kind of way. You know, airstrikes only, no troops on the ground, limited operation time, no mission creep. All those pre-combat agreements that tend to get forgotten after the first six months of nasty tough stuff.”
“The pre-9/11 Afghans are already back in control of large areas of Afghanistan, while the full might of the American war-machine, couldn’t destroy the Islamic State in Iraq before. So, now the state is far stronger than ever it was, what is this latest ill-advised foray really supposed to achieve?”
“The entire reason as to why we’re at war with the Islamists, and what they’re fighting for, is brilliantly avoided by all.”
Cantlie goes on to quote Thomas H. Kean, the former New Jersey governor, who he says acknowledged that intelligence officials failed to anticipate the emergence of the Islamic State.
“Western governments,” Cantlie adds, “were caught napping by the sheer speed of the Islamic State’s growth.”
“Everyone now is getting involved. Denmark and France have sent airpower, Britain is arming the Kurds, Iran is sending troops, contractors are being sought in Iraq, and even Bashar al-Assad, until this earlier this year the most hated and villainized tyrant in the Arab world, is being approached for permission to enter Syria. Can the Islamic State be defeated without addressing that part of their organization that resides in Syria, asks General Martin Demspey. The answer is no.”
“It’s all quite a circus, airstrikes, the creation of last minute puppet governments, advisory teams on the ground wooing previous enemies to join in, and trans-border incursions into a country that’s been in a state of civil war for three years.”
“Not since Vietnam have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making.”
“Current estimates of 15,000 troops needed to fight the Islamic State are laughably low. The state has more Mujahideen than this, and this is not some undisciplined outfit with a few kalashnikovs.
Cantlie finished the video quoting Michael Scheuer again. “Think what you will of the Islamists and their brand of war making, but they have been in the field fighting since 1979, and their movement has never been larger, more popular, or as well armed as it is today.”
“Join me again for the next program.”
A third video featuring British hostage John Cantlie was uploaded Monday night by the Islamic State. The five-minute, 34-second video is the third released this month by the terrorist group.
The journalist delivers a scripted message responding to US President Barack Obama’s recent speech on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks outlining plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State.
“There were no big surprises” in Obama’s speech, Cantlie says, mocking the strategy of conducting airstrikes while relying on local forces for the ground offensive.
“It was all disappointingly predictable; America is good, the Islamic State is bad; and they will be defeated using aircraft and a motley collection of fighters on the ground. For their part the Islamic State say they welcome meeting Obama’s under-construction army.”
The video appears to have been filmed before last Friday, as there is no mention of the British decision to join the US-led campaign. Cantlie also makes no references to US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian oilfields and IS checkpoints, over recent days.
At the end of the video Cantlie indicates there will be further messages.
According to a graphic posted by the Islamic State, there is still 5 more to come.
UPDATE 10/03/2014 Hostage John Cantlie’s Father Pleads With IS
Islamic State has released the fourth video in their propaganda news-style series “Lend Me Your Ears,” showing abducted British journalist John Cantlie delivering another message.
In the 6 minute 53 second video posted online by the group’s Al Furqan media outlet on Sunday, Cantlie, who has been held prisoner for almost two years, speaks of the strength of IS and says the group is “dug in for the fight.”
“What that means is that anyone hoping for a nice neat surgical operation without getting their hands dirty is in for a horrible surprise once it gets underway,”
“One month ago Obama pressed the button on airstrikes. Now we have to wonder how long his policy of no boots on the ground has left to live. As for the Islamic State, they eagerly await to see those boots.”
“The killings are, rather unfortunately for us, exactly the sort of things our governments need to bolster public support. People don’t understand geopolitics, but a man having his head cut off, that’s worth making a noise about.
The public will respond in one of two ways. They’ll either demand an end to this cycle of bloodshed and say what are we doing back there let’s get out, or they’ll demand revenge and support more military action.
Our governments would already have known this, and it’s entirely possible we were left behind for exactly this purpose.
For the Islamic State it’s a win-win situation. If these executions force public outry or a policy change that is a huge victory, and if they only goad our governments into dropping more bombs and spending millions more dollars making our countries weaker in the process, then that is a victory too.”
Cantlie addresses British Prime Minister David Cameron directly on the beheadings. saying “Prime Minister, you’ve known about our situation for nearly two years. You chose not to enter negotiations with the Islamic State that might have got us out, and now you want to use these deaths to fan the flames of this war? If that is the case then I deeply resent it Prime Minister. Thanks a lot.”
The video follows the publishing of an article allegedly written by Cantlie in the fourth issue of Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq.
Titled “The Real Story Behind My Videos,” the article insists that Mr Cantlie produces the scripts for the videos and calls on the British Government to negotiate his release.
Islamic State has released a fifth video of British journalist John Cantlie, warning that western governments and media are gearing up for “yet another unwinnable” third Gulf war, and that this is exactly what the group wants.
“They say that people have short memories, but the ink has not even yet dried on the written orders to pull out of Afghanistan, and yet here we are gearing up for Gulf War III.” The Obama administration has adopted “exactly the same rhetoric used to rally support for the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq in 2003.”
“At the first sniff of something they don’t like, the American war machine springs to life, whipped along by the western media, as usual.”
“It’s not to hard to see where this is headed. Once again the western media are drip-feeding the public until, what a surprise, we’re embroiled in a full-scale war.”
“So we’ve spent a few trillion dollars on failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the unwritten message, isn’t worth spending a few trillion more to avoid a specter of another 9/11? Of course this plays perfectly into the hands of the Mujahideen, who are very happy to sit back and watch the West bankrupt itself fighting them.”
“The rise of the Islamic State today gives Obama a chance to look tough in the media, just as mid-term elections approach. History repeatedly demonstrates that every leader of a country likes to have their own war – and this now is Obama’s.”
“Government’s need the media to gain public support, and the media needs the government to get access to stories. It’s a cunningly symbiotic relationship.”
Islamic State has released the sixth “lecture series” video of British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held hostage by the group. In it Cantlie criticizes the UK and US approach to hostage negotiations, and reads emails reportedly exchanged between IS and the families of hostages, which criticize the US government’s handling of the situation.
“Only the British and American prisoners were left behind, after months of negotiations saw 16 other citizens from 6 European countries go home.”
“The Europeans fell into line…their representatives having fulfilled the conditions for their release, but it was clear something was different for the British and Americans. While there was dialogue for everyone else, the British and Americans were stonewalled. It was completely silent, nothing.”
“I have a message here from one of the American prisoners on the 11th of June 2014. ‘I would secure your sister Dr. Aafia Siddiqui‘s release if I could. It sounds like you care about her freedom. You have surely seen the news, our government is a mess. They will not help.’ There’s another email here from the family of one of the American prisoners on the 17th of July 2014. ‘Our government is not being helpful. We have begged them so many times already. Everyone has buried their heads in the sand. We feel we are caught in the middle between you and the U.S. government, and we are being punished. We have reached out to our government, but they have been non-responsive for some time now. We don’t expect that we will get any help from our government at all, and we feel foolish for believing them.’ There’s a message from the family of one of the American prisoners on the 24th of July 2014. ‘We are contacting people every day. You have given us a huge mountain to climb, and we feel like a pawn in this political battle that we have been forced into. I’m taking everything you have said seriously, and am working as fast as I can. I need more time.’ Now the recurring element in these emails is that the U.S. government was simply doing absolutely nothing to help the families involved in this negotiation.”
“I don’t have much on the British, so I assume that there was even less discussion going on for them.”
“The Mujahideen told us our governments didn’t care about us, and we didn’t believe them…but it was all true. Our governments had chosen not to negotiate with the Islamic State through our families and friends. And while everyone else had fulfilled conditions for release, for us, there was no deal.”
Islamic State has released a new video featuring kidnapped photojournalist John Cantlie, who talks of “accepting his fate” as he criticizes a failed rescue attempt by US forces and Western unwillingness to negotiate.
“In this program I will tell you about a failed raid to rescue us and how it feels to be left for dead by your own government,” Cantlie says.
“On July 4, Independence Day, the Americans did try to get us out of prison. Not by negotiation or prisoner exchange but by an incredibly complex, risky and expensive rescue attempt that failed,” he says, outlining the operation.
The rescue operation Cantlie speaks of allegedly “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,” Cantlie continues, adding that all it took for Islamic State to avert the attack was to move all the prisoners to a different location days in advance.
“‘Missions like this are very risky because if they go wrong, you don’t know how it will effect hostages further up the road,’ said Hector Pocock, a Special Operations spokesman, you don’t say.
Meanwhile, James Foley’s mother Diane was being threatened by the U.S. National Security Council that she could face criminal charges if they paid her ransom.”
Cantlie criticizes the US and British refusal to negotiate with terrorists, unlike France’s “record for paying out ransom demands, stating that “since 2008, [it] has reportedly paid $58 million of ransom payments to different Islamic groups, nearly $10 million a year.”
“But America and Britain have to do it their way, often far more dangerous and costly than negotiating in the first place. They refused to negotiate for us. America mounted a botched rescue and then threatened a mother trying to save her son with funding terrorism charges if she raised a ransom.
The double-standards on display here are breathtaking. Why would you put all those lives in danger when you could have peacefully negotiated like everyone else. Why is a military option always the first option for our countries?
Now take the case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, held since 2009 by Afghans who harbored Al Qaeda back in 2001. They demanded five high-profile Guantanamo prisoners in exchange. The Pentagon wanted to keep them, they were the hardest of the hardcore according to John McCain. But Obama wanted the exchange, and five years after Bergdahl was taken he got it, on June 1st of this year, Bergdahl was released.
He was one man, we were six, and the Islamic State asked for Muslim prisoners in exchange for all of us. Yes Bergdahl was a soldier and three of us were British, but isn’t civilian life or six of them really not worth discussing? There was no more talk and we were left to our fate.
We are not big people, and we are not special, we’re not U.S. soldiers, but we are no more or less important than everyone else who went home. The difference being all the other countries had the patience to negotiate with the Islamic State through the families and friends of the prisoners, while ours leapt in with guns and helicopters, and this was the result.
James, Steven and David didn’t want their deaths to encourage an entire nation into war, and if it comes to it, please don’t let our governments pull the same stunt with us. Because if armed intervention ended the way it did in this situation, why would it be any different on a bigger scale in this region.
We were left to die, it’s the worst feeling in the world being left behind like that. We’ve been in the longest, paid our dues, watched everyone else go home, never stopped believing and then wham, have some of that, you’re not worth negotiating for. To be left behind so cynically by the country you thought you knew, is some kind of ultimate betrayal. You spend your whole life working, paying taxes, not getting into trouble with the police, well not for anything serious, paying your bills, and for what? The first time you need your government to do something for you, when it’s truly life or death, they turn their back.”
Speaking about British Prime Minister David Cameron, Cantlie says, “How can you outrageously claim the whole system is working on their behalf … when David’s body now lies in the Syrian desert. What kind of system is that? The PM went on to derive the European negotiators, who fulfilled the conditions for the release of their prisoners, as supporting terrorism. But what they did to get their people home, was nothing compared to what we’ve done by supporting corrupt outfits like the FSA [Free Syrian Army], who only sell the hundreds of millions of dollars of weapons they’ve been given, many of whom end up in the hands of the Islamic State itself.
It became clear to me that we’re just being used by our politicians. Obama and Cameron act all shocked and appalled each time one of us are killed, but they’ve known this was coming for months, months! They’ve known our six names, who was holding us, and the consequences of not negotiating for over a year. So for them to act all surprised and 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 will overwhelmingly likely be the same as my cellmates, and I’m angry about it … I’m angry at our governments for allowing the matter to get to this position, and then having done so using the deaths of my colleagues, for their own reasons through the media. I’m angry with our governments for not discussing this matter with our families, for not discussing the matter with the Islamic State, and for treating our life like some sort of gamble, like a roll of the dice, when everyone else went home.
I will continue to speak out against this military action and the deceitful arrogance of our governments for as long as the Mujahideen allow me to live.
Once again we are becoming embroiled in a war that has little to do with humanitarian issues or national security, but is all about oil, business, money, and the political gains of selfish individuals in parties.”
A second column allegedly written by Cantlie was published in the latest edition of the Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq, titled “If I Were The US President Today…”:
Source within the Islamic state told Newsday 24/7 that British journalist, John Cantlie is executed by the group.
Journalist John Cantlie was taken hostage by the jihadist group in 2012 and was seen in an execution video many times recently.
The source who also confirmed to Newsday 24/7 the execution of British aid worker, Alan Henning before it was officially announced days later said, “John Cantlie was killed in the same manner of all the others who were executed by IS before.”
“Due to the increased UK participation in the airstrikes against Islamic State, it will be its citizen that will suffer the worst which John Cantlie is one of them and many more will be coming, Inshallah,” the source concluded.
The source adds Cantlie was executed in the Islamic State headquaters of Raqqa in Northern Syria.
UPDATE 12/04/2014 Islamic State Hostage John Cantlie Reports “From Inside Mosul”
A third column allegedly written by Cantlie was published in the latest edition of the Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq, titled “Meltdown”:
UPDATE 02/09/2015 Inside Halab: Islamic State Hostage John Cantlie Reports from Aleppo
Fourth column allegedly written by Cantlie was published in the February edition of Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq, titled “The Anger Factory”:
Fifth column allegedly written by Cantlie was published in the March/April edition of Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq, titled “Paradigm Shift”:
Sixth column allegedly written by Cantlie was published in the May/June edition of Islamic State’s magazine Dabiq, titled “The Perfect Storm”: