President Obama said in a statement this evening that the United States “strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines by the terrorist group ISIL.”
“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,” Obama said.
“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.”
Haines, 44, worked for the aid group ACTED and had previously helped the needy in South Sudan and Libya. He was seized in March 2013 shortly after crossing into Syria. He served in the Royal Air Force for more than a decade, service cited by his executioner in the video, “A Message to America’s Allies,” released today.
The Scotsman leaves behind his wife, Dragana, who has been living under police protection in Croatia, and 4-year-old daughter, along with a 17-year-old daughter in Perth from his first marriage.
The executioner is the same Brit as in the videos showing the deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff.
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State,” the terrorist says. “Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms.”
“Playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war.”
Like the previous two videos, nothing shows the Brit executioner doing the actual killing. The Haines video shows a knife being pulled across his throat, then cuts away to a grisly shot of the victim’s body.
At the end of the David Haines video another man in an orange jumpsuit is threatened: Alan Henning. “If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic State, then you, like your master Obama, will have the blood of your people on your hands,” the executioner says.
One Syrian activist tweeted that Henning was part of a British humanitarian aid convoy, abducted in Al Dana by ISIS when they occupied the city.
“The murder of David Haines is an act of pure evil. My heart goes out to his family who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude,” tweeted British Prime Minister David Cameron.
“We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”
The next hostage under threat by ISIS. Notice they picked a less identifiable landscape than Foley murder. pic.twitter.com/bKLK6qKAK0
— Bridget Johnson (@Bridget_PJM) September 13, 2014