Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

John Cantlie: British IS hostage 'believed to be still alive'

John Cantlie: British IS hostage 'believed to be still alive'

A HAMPSHIRE man who was captured by so-called Islamic State group more than six years ago is thought to still be alive, the UK's security minister has said.

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Foley was beheaded alongside other British and American hostages in 2014, while Cantlie was forced to appear in propaganda videos criticising Western foreign policy and military action.

Without elaborating, a spokesperson for the Home Office told reporters that Wallace's office believes John Cantlie may have survived.

The terror group continued to use Cantlie in numerous additional propaganda footage, apparently under duress, with his past appearance in such a film coming in December 2016.

Cantlie was also reported dead previous year by media citing Iraq's Al-Sura News Agency, which said he was killed in the Mosul operation. 'We continue to hope and pray that this turns out to be true, ' it said.

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In January, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) director, Mustafi Bali, was quoted as saying that Cantlie "is still alive and is moving around" the Syrian province of Deir Az Zor.

His work has appeared in newspapers including the Sunday Times, the Sun and Sunday Telegraph.

Asked about British hostages around the world, Wallace said the United Kingdom does not pay ransom and discourages other countries from doing so. He was first kidnapped in July 2012, but escaped with assistance from the Free Syrian Army.

Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria in late 2012 alongside James Foley, the US journalist, who was beheaded on camera in 2014. British aid workers Alan Henning and David Haines were also killed.

"Speaking entirely for myself, this is not how I would have imagined I would be spending my 81st year", Cantlie's father, Paul Cantlie, said in a hospital bed in October 2014.

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