Report: Al-Qaeda appealed to ISIS to release UK aid worker
Al-Qaeda appealed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to release British hostage Alan Henning due to the former’s belief that he was an innocent aid worker attempting to help Muslims, UK-based daily The Independent reported on Monday.
In the video released on Saturday, ISIS militants threatened to kill Henning if British Prime Minister David Cameron continued to support the fight against them.
On Monday, Britain ruled out a mission by special forces to rescue a Briton whose life was threatened in the latest execution video released by Islamic State militants, saying on Monday it did not know where he and other hostages were being held.
The group has already killed another British hostage and two Americans in barbaric beheadings which have provoked revulsion around the world, using the tactic to put public pressure on Western governments after U.S. air strikes helped halt the ISIS advance after it swept through northern Iraq.
Henning, a father-of-two from Salford in northern England who was so moved by the plight of Syrians he had “aid for Syria” tattooed on his arm, was part of a humanitarian mission which set off just days before Christmas last year to take medical equipment to the war-torn country when he was taken hostage.
Henning was captured not long after his aid convoy was halted by masked gunmen shortly after they crossed the border from Turkey, and the 47-year-old was taken away from the others, media reported.
Professor Peter Neumann, the director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, based at King’s College London, told The Independent: “[Al-Qaeda] is not opposed to beheadings but realizes it makes no sense to carry them out in the way that ISIS does because this tactic will lose them a lot of friends.”