Thursday, 19 September, 2019

UK believes Islamic State hostage photojournalist John Cantlie is alive

ALIVE Ben Wallace made the shocking claims at the Home Office ALIVE Ben Wallace made the shocking claims at the Home Office
Patty Aguilar | 07 February, 2019, 18:51

Captive British photojournalist John Cantlie in what appeared to be central Mosul, Iraq [AP] Later he was filmed dressed in civilian clothing and acting as though he was a reporter covering the region.

He did say officials believe Cantlie is being held by Islamic State operatives. Later he was abducted alongside American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded later by ISIS. "Whilst this is not substantiated at present, we continue to hope and pray that this turns out to be true", the group said.

Mr Wallace, who spoke in a meeting with foreign journalists at the Home Office, would not say where the United Kingdom believes Mr Cantlie is being held.

In the early years after his capture, he appeared in propaganda videos wearing an orange jumpsuit and speaking English to camera, in a similar fashion to other western hostages. The news of the minister's comments led the Free John Cantlie campaign to express its hope that the journalist's ordeal would be resolved.

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Cantlie has worked for several publications, including The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sunday Telegraph.

His 81-year-old father, Paul Cantlie, pleaded with Isis from his hospital bed in 2014. "I can think of no greater joy than seeing him again, released and allowed to return to those that love him".

Wallace told reporters that the British government has a policy of not paying ransom for hostages. Its fighters are not confined to a small area on the border with Iraq and president Trump has declared them defeated, saying there is no longer any need for U.S. troops in the region.

He added, "The fact is the president made a decision, and we are going to execute his orders here to withdraw from Syria".

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