Islamic State: YouTube propaganda video of British hostage John Cantlie released by Isis

Video of British journalist follows killing of three other Western hostages – James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines – in recent weeks

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The Independent Online

A British newspaper photographer has became the latest kidnap victim to appear in an Islamic State (Isis) propaganda video which he admits is a desperate attempt to save his life.

John Cantlie, who has been held by Isis for almost two years since he disappeared while covering the conflict in Syria in 2012, is the third Briton confirmed to be held by Isis.

But the latest video is stark contrast to previous Isis films showing Western hostages being beheaded.

The film was taken indoors with the hostage sitting behind a desk against a black background but wearing the distinctive orange top seen in other videos. No explicit threats are made to his life and no one else is present in the video.

In the 3m 20s clip entitled "Lend Me Your Ears", Mr Cantlie introduces himself and explains his predicament, before saying that the public should act to “change this seemingly inevitable sequence of events”.

In comments that are likely to have been made under duress, he calls for the American and British governments to change their policies on hostage-taking and not to intervene in Iraq or Syria.

“It’s true I am a prisoner,” he says. “That I cannot deny. But seeing as I have been abandoned by my Government and my fate now lies in the hands 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 preserving lives.”

He then reveals that he has filmed several “programmes” which he says will “show the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State”.

“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.”

He makes no mention in the footage to the murders of three of his fellow hostages in recent weeks – US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.

islamic-state-raqqa.jpg Following the release of the video, former Security minister Pauline Neville-Jones said Isis militants appeared to be changing their social media tactics. "It sounds a bit like a variation in the tactics,” she said. “They may indeed be aware of the extraordinarily adverse publicity which they deserve to get over their extremely brutal murders.

“I think they may be seeking to drum up support among those to which they wish to appeal by rehearsing the history of injustice which the West inflicts on people like themselves. And they’re using this journalist, if it is a journalist, as a vehicle for that kind of messaging. It sounds an entirely cynical exploit on their part obviously aimed at a certain audience.”

Aid worker David Haines

The Labour MP Shabana Mahmood said the release of the latest video showing another British hostage was a "shocking development".

"My heart goes out to the hostage and his family. It’s just another shocking development and Isil [another name for Isis] are showing I think very clearly to the world that these are not men and women who have love for God in their hearts. They are fanatics and they are monsters, and I think it’s really important that we all come together to say that we reject who and what they are.”

The video's release comes on the day that a group of more than 100 leading British Muslims joined together to denounce the capture by Isis of another British national, Alan Henning.

Aid worker Alan Henning was kidnapped in Syria in December

In their statement to The Independent, the community said that to harm Mr Henning would be “the worst condemnable sin” against Islam, and they plead with Isis to see the error of their ways and set him free.

In Islam, concern for fellow humans and the duty to help everyone is a religious obligation,” they write. “Anyone undertaking a humanitarian act is paving his or her way to receive help from heaven.

On Saturday, Isis released footage which showed the murder of Mr Haines, and threatened to kill Mr Henning next.

David Cameron called the killing “pure evil” and “a despicable and appalling murder”, and has since paved the way for Britain to join the US in direct air strikes against Isis in Syria.