ISIS released a video Saturday showing the beheading of British hostage David Haines, making him the third Westerner to be killed by the militant group in recent weeks. British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the killing late Saturday, calling it “an act of pure evil” in a statement that appeared to confirm the video was authentic. Earlier, the British Foreign Office had said it was working to verify the video, which also includes a threat to kill another British hostage, reports the BBC.
The 44-year-old father of two from Perth, Scotland, was kidnapped in Syria while working for the French aid group Acted. He has a 17-year-old and a 4-year-old daughter, reports the Guardian. No stranger to dangerous areas, Haines had previously worked in Libya and South Sudan. The British government had worked to keep Haines’ kidnapping a secret, but he was shown kneeling in the sand in the video that showed the murder of American journalist Steven Sotloff. Less than 24 hours before the latest video, Haines’ family had released a statement calling on the ISIS militants to “make contact with us.”
The video, titled “A Message to the Allies of America,” begins with a clip of Cameron. Then Haines looks straight into the camera. “My name is Daivd Cawthorne Haines. I would like to delcare that I hold you David Cameron entirely responsible for my execution,” he said, according to the Telegraph. “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend against our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans. Unfortunately it is we the British public that in the end will pay the price for our Parliament’s selfish decisions.”
President Obama also condemned the “barbaric murder” on Saturday. “The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve,” Obama said, according to the Associated Press. “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.”