Video claims to show execution of Scottish hostage

Haines, 44, was taken while working for ACTED in Syria in March 2013, having previously helped local people in Libya and South Sudan. Picture: Hemedia

Haines, 44, was taken while working for ACTED in Syria in March 2013, having previously helped local people in Libya and South Sudan. Picture: Hemedia

by SCOTT D’ARCY

THE Foreign Office has said it is “working urgently to verify” a video purporting to show the beheading of Scottish aid worker David Haines.

The 44-year-old was thought to be being held by Islamic militants in Syria after being taken hostage in March last year.

A video was released tonight which appears to show Mr Haines talking to the camera before being murdered.

Prime Minister David Cameron has described the beheading of British aid worker David Haines as “an act of pure evil”.

The Prime Minister said: “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. Continue reading

UK will ‘look at all options’ to aid Scots hostage

A still from the video released by IS showing Steven Sotloff moments before his murder. Picture: Reuters

A still from the video released by IS showing Steven Sotloff moments before his murder. Picture: Reuters

 

by CHRIS MARSHALL

FOREIGN Secretary Philip Hammond declared yesterday that every possible option will be explored to protect a Scottish hostage whose life is being threatened by the same jihadists who have already killed two American journalists.

The 44-year-old aid worker appeared in a video released by Islamic State (IS) extremists on Tuesday. His family has asked for him not to be named.

At the end of the chilling film, a masked knifeman stands above the captive Scot, warning countries entering an “evil alliance” with the United States against IS to “back off”.

Speaking after a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee yesterday, Mr Hammond said the latest video – which depicts the murder of American Steven Sotloff by a jihadist with a British accent – appeared genuine. Continue reading

Review – Inside story of the UK’s secret mission to beat Gaddafi

By Mark Urban Diplomatic and defence editor, Newsnight

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British efforts to help topple Colonel Gaddafi were not limited to air strikes. On the ground – and on the quiet – special forces soldiers were blending in with rebel fighters. This is the previously untold account of the crucial part they played.

The British campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi’s regime had its public face – with aircraft dropping bombs, or Royal Navy ships appearing in Libyan waters, but it also had a secret aspect.

My investigations into that covert effort reveal a story of practically minded people trying to get on with the job, while all the time facing political and legal constraints imposed from London.

In the end, though, British special forces were deployed on the ground in order to help the UK’s allies – the Libyan revolutionaries often called the National Transitional Council or NTC. Those with a knowledge of the programme insist “they did a tremendous job” and contributed to the final collapse of the Gaddafi regime.

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The UK’s policy for intervention evolved in a series of fits and starts, being changed at key points by events on the ground. The arguments about how far the UK should go were thrashed out in a series of meetings of the National Security Council at Downing Street. Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister David Cameron, its key members were:

Mr Cameron’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, was a key voice in urging action following start of the Libyan revolution last February, say Whitehall insiders.

Continue reading

Birmingham Central Mosque planning to sue David Cameron over 9/11 comments

Dr Mohammed Naseem: Picture by Newsteam

A CITY mosque is threatening to sue the Prime Minister for libel after he suggested worshippers believed 9/11 was the result of a Jewish conspiracy.

Mohammad Naseem, chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, said lawyers had been instructed to take legal action against David Cameron.

It comes after the Prime Minister used the mosque, which serves up to 20,000 people on holy days, as an example of extremism. Continue reading