Islamic State militants released a new video Thursday, showing captive British journalist John Cantlie speaking directly to the camera about the mission of the extremist group that’s holding him hostage.
In what is presumably a scripted statement, Cantlie says he will “convey some facts” about the Islamic State in future videos aimed at a Western audience. He sits alone, hands clasped on a table, wearing an orange jumpsuit similar to those seen on other Islamic State prisoners and apparently inspired by the uniforms worn by prisoners at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
In the three-minute video — titled “Lend Me Your Ears: Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie,” which was first reported by the SITE Intelligence Group — the photojournalist discusses his 2012 capture in Syria and places blame for his continued imprisonment on the British government.
“I’ll show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State,” Cantlie says, “and how the British and American governments thought they could do it differently to every other European country.”
He continues: “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.”
He adds: “I’m going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State, and how the Western media, the very organization I used to work for, can twist and manipulate that truth for the public back home.”
According to the Associated Press, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, speaking in Copenhagen, said the Islamic State “is not just a threat to the stability of the Middle East region but to all of us in our homelands.” Hammond told reporters that he had not yet seen the video.
The release follows three earlier videos from the Islamic State in which two American journalists and one British aid worker were beheaded. The most recent of the three, released last week, ended with a threat to kill another British hostage: Alan Henning, an aid worker who was captured in Syria in December 2013.
Cantlie was captured in November 2012 with American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by the Islamic State. According to ABC News, the two were working on a film about Cantlie’s previous kidnapping in Syria at the time.
News of Cantlie’s kidnapping was the subject of a two-year media blackout, McClatchy reported.