British Prime Minister David Cameron has released a statement condemning the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, as seen in a new video released by the Islamic State. Cameron called the slaying “an act of pure evil.”
Cameron confirmed Haines’ death in a statement posted on his official Twitter account after the British Foreign Office had said earlier that it was “working urgently to verify the video.”
Haines is the third Westerner beheaded in recent weeks by the Islamic State group, which has seized vast swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq.
The video shows both David Haines and his British-accented executioner blaming the British Prime Minister’s support for US air strikes for his death.
The life of a fourth prisoner, British aid worker Alan Henning, was threatened at the end of the presentation.
“The murder of David Haines is an act of pure evil,” Cameron said, adding that “my heart goes out his family who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude.”
“We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes,” Cameron said.
Cameron returned to his residence at 10 Downing Street shortly after midnight and is expected to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency response committee
He vowed “justice, however long it takes”.
US President Barack Obama added his voice to the growing world outrage.
“The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines by the terrorist group ISIL (Islamic State),” he said.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Haines and to the people of the United Kingdom. The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve. 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.”
“We can’t be intimidated by this and we won’t be,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told Network Ten this morning in response to the new video.
The video from the Islamic State which shows the death of British aid worker David Haines threatens America’s allies for supporting action in the Middle East.
The video appears intended as a direct threat to British Prime Minister David Cameron:
“For being a lapdog, Cameron, you will drag your people into another bloody and unwinnable war,” the video warns.
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State.”
Islamic State militants have previously beheaded two American journalists and posted video evidence online.
David Haines, 44, is shown in the latest video reciting an Islamic State script. He had been abducted in March 2013 near a refugee camp in Atmeh, Syria, while organising the delivery of humanitarian aid.
“You followed Americans into Iraq, following the trend of British Prime Ministers who cannot find the courage to say no to Americans,” he appears to say.
“Unfortunately, it is we the British public, that in the end that will pay the price for our parliaments selfish decisions.”
The executioner, speaking with a British accent, repeats previous threats stating the United States must end its air strikes against jihadists in Iraq.
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron,” he says.
“Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms.
“Your evil alliance with America which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam will only accelerate your destruction.”
The video closes with yet another threat, this time to the life of alleged British captive Alan Henning. He is understood to be an aid worker.