Third ISIS beheading : UK PM calls emergency meet
Prime Minister David Cameron is to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee on Sunday to discuss an Islamic State (IS) video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines.
IS militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released the video on Saturday. Reuters could not immediately verify the footage, but the images were consistent with those of the filmed executions of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in the past month.
Cameron, who returned to London ahead of schedule on Saturday night, had called the murder an act of pure evil and vowed to bring the aid worker’s killers to justice.
‘This is a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker. It is an act of pure evil. My heart goes out to the family of David Haines who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude throughout this ordeal,’ he said in a statement.
‘We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.’
Haines’s purported executioner appears to be the same man who featured in videos with Foley and Sotloff. The man, nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’ by Western media, seems to have a British accent.
Security services in Britain have been trying to identify him using voice recognition technology. At the end of the same video, another hostage is shown and threatened.
A British security source speaking on condition of anonymity said an investigation was under way into the killings and that senior intelligence officials would attend Sunday’s meeting of the COBR emergency committee that Cameron will chair.
The source declined to go into detail about what, if any, progress the investigation had made.
Cameron has faced calls from some of his Conservative party lawmakers to authorise British air strikes against Islamic State and has said he is ruling nothing out apart from putting combat troops on the ground.