ISIS beheads British hostage Alan Henning
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claimed responsibility for the murder of British aid worker Alan Henning on Friday in a video showing his apparent execution.
The video was almost identical to those released showing three previous murders carried out by the militant group. It also showed a masked ISIS militant with a hostage it identified as an American citizen Peter Kassig.
The video, found online by the SITE private terrorism monitor, opens with a news report about the British parliament’s vote last week to authorize air strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.
It then cuts to Henning, sitting on his knees against a desert backdrop while wearing an orange prison outfit, with a masked militant standing over him wielding a combat knife.
Henning addresses the camera, explaining that as a member of the British public, he is being made to pay the price for the parliamentary vote.
British Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed the “brutal murder” of Henning and vowed to bring his killers to justice.
“The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL [another term used for ISIS militants] shows just how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are,” Cameron said in a statement released by his Downing Street office.
“We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.”
President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor Lisa Monaco said Washington was taking steps to confirm the authenticity of the tape and that the hearts of U.S. officials went out to Henning.
This is the fourth such video released by ISIS. Similarly to previous videos, the actual beheadings are not shown on camera. The British-accented, English-speaking militant holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting the three men, American reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines.
Henning, 47, nicknamed “Gadget,” had joined an aid convoy and was taken captive on Dec. 26, shortly after crossing the border between Turkey and Syria. Earlier this week, Henning’s wife Barbara Henning asked the militants in a televized plea: “Please release him. We need him back home.”