Fourth man could be beheaded
LONDON (AP) – Now it’s Britain’s turn to mourn.
British aid worker David Haines has been beheaded – like two American journalists before him – and the Islamic State group is threatening to kill a fourth captive.
A grisly video released by the group showing Haines’ body both mocks the West and raises the pressure on Western leaders. It concludes with a death threat against British hostage Alan Henning, shown in the same kind of orange jumpsuit the other three were wearing when they were killed.
Prime Minister David Cameron praised the 44-year-old Haines today as a British hero, and his family asked that he be remembered for devoting his life to helping civilians caught in deadly conflicts.
Haines is the third Westerner beheaded in recent weeks by the Islamic State group, which has seized large parts of Syria and Iraq and, according to Cameron, poses a “massive” threat to the rest of the Middle East.
“They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people – Christians, Muslims, minorities across Iraq and Syria,” Cameron said after an emergency meeting with military and security chiefs.
“They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters,” he said.
Cameron said the group is planning attacks against Britain and the rest of Europe, and that Britain has to step up its counterterrorism efforts.
Britain will support U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State group by using British forces to help with logistics and intelligence gathering, he said, but will not send ground troops.
Cameron also raised the prospect that the black-clad, knife wielding Islamic State extremist on the video – who speaks with an East London accent – may in fact be a British man who has joined the terrorists.
“People across this country will have been sickened by the fact it could have been a British citizen – a British citizen who carried out this unspeakable act,” he said.
The tall, masked figure in the video appears to be the same man who appeared in earlier videos announcing the killings of Americans James Foley and Steven Sotloff.