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Obama condemns ‘barbaric murder’ of David Haines

British PM David Cameron: ‘We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers.’


 

BEIRUT — Islamic State extremists have released a video purportedly showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, who went missing in Syria last year.

The video emerged a day after the family of Haines issued a public plea late Friday urging his captors to contact them.

The British Foreign Office said late Saturday that it was “working urgently to verify” the video.

“If true, this is another disgusting murder,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. “We are offering the family every support possible. They ask to be left alone at this time.”

Islamic State militants have beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as Kurdish and Lebanese fighters, and posted video evidence online. At the end of the last video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, the Islamic State group threatened to kill Haines next and briefly showed him on camera.

In the video posted Sunday, the group threatened to kill another Briton. Both British men were dressed in orange jumpsuits against an arid Syrian landscape, similar to that seen in the Foley and Sotloff videos.

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The SITE Intelligence Group, a U.S. terrorism watchdog, reported the video, which was also posted online by users associated with the Islamic State group.

The video was entitled “A Message to the Allies of America.” Haines’ purported killer, who appeared to be the same man speaking with a British accent as in the previous videos, tells the British government that its alliance with the U.S. will only “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war.”

Haines was abducted in Syria in 2013 while working for an international aid agency.

The British government had managed to keep his kidnapping secret out of concern for his safety until the most recent video identified him as a captive.

Late Friday, the family of Haines issued a public plea urging his captors to contact them.

In a short statement released through Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the family said: “We are asking those holding David to make contact with us.”

Response to the news was swift from British Prime Minister David Cameron:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and John Baird also condemned the killing:

President Barack Obama called the slaying a “barbaric murder.”

In a statement issued Saturday night, Obama said the hearts of Americans go out to Haines’ family and the people of the United Kingdom.

“The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve,” Obama said.

“We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice, and to degrade and destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world,” he said.

In his statement, Obama repeated the pledge he made Wednesday night in a nationally televised address in which he laid out a strategy to respond to the threat from the Islamic State group, which is referred to at times as ISIL. “Our objective is clear,” he told the nation earlier this week. “We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

The U.S. began attacking the extremist group with airstrikes in Iraq last month. Since then, the extremists have beheaded two American journalists held captive in Syria, Foley and Sotloff.

As part of the effort against the Islamic State group, Secretary of State John Kerry formally announced Saturday that retired Marine Gen. John Allen was joining the State Department as a special presidential envoy to co-ordinate the international coalition. Allen worked with international allies as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan from 2011-2013.


 
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Obama condemns ‘barbaric murder’ of David Haines

  1. The media keeps reporting what Obama says. I suppose that is their job, but they seem to be blissfully unaware that any correlation between what he says and what he does is zero.

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