Beheading in Syria

British National Executed in Cold Blood

By Jeremy Reid (Contributor)


David Haines, a British aid worker who was abducted last year, was executed in a beheading by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) early this month, on September 13th. ISIS, an unrecognized caliphate, or Islamic sovereign state, has thus far beheaded at least three identified hostages, and several more unidentified soldiers. As per the organization’s modus operandi, the execution was recorded and shared online. The ISIS executioner Jihadi John, supposedly nicknamed after John Lennon, handled delegations between hostages and their families and had previously threatened to kill Haines if the Western forces continued interfering with ISIS operations in Iraq. Although his family had attempted to contact ISIS for negotiations, the organization made no response.

Haines, 44, was born in East Yorkshire, but grew up in Perth, Scotland. After graduating from Perth Academy secondary school, he served in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft engineer for twelve years. After his service in the RAF, he managed and advised humanitarian endeavours in Yugoslavia, South Sudan, Libya, and Syria, where he was abducted with an unnamed colleague.

Territorial control of the ISIS   Source: bbc.co.uk
Territorial control of the ISIS Source: bbc.co.uk

Haines had been one of the targets of the failed 2014 American Rescue Mission in Syria, launched this last July. His kidnapping was kept secret for several months in order to lessen his importance to his captors, but his appearance in the beheading video of Steven Sotloff, publicized his abduction. It was following Sotloff’s execution that ISIS threatened Haines’ life.

ISIS, also known as ISIL or the Islamic State, has now executed three Westerners in attempts to discourage Western involvement in Iraq. As per their pattern, another threat was made at the end of the video. Holding the jumpsuit of British aid worker Alan Henning, the executioner addresses UK Prime Minister David Cameron directly saying, “If you, Cameron, insist on fighting the Islamic State, then you, like your master Obama, will have the blood of your people on your hands.” In response, Cameron Tweeted that the killing was “an act of pure evil,” and that they, as the British government, would do “everything in [their] power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.” In various statements released the weekend after, President Obama denounced the act as “barbaric”, and Cameron again stated that the Islamic State is a radical terrorist organization and not representative of Muslims or the Islamic faith, as ISIS claims.

Haines’ family has thanked their supporters, from the general public to Cameron himself, and is now aiding the next announced victim’s family through their hostage trauma. Haines’ brother has written an article in memoriam of his brother, and his daughter, 17, made a post on Facebook thanking those who sent messages of support to her and her family. Haines’ wife, ex-wife, and youngest daughter have so far made no statement.

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