The Islamic State on Thursday released the fourth installment of a series of propaganda videos featuring a British photographer, John Cantlie, who has been a prisoner of the group for nearly two years.
Like the previous videos in the series, the new one suggests it was recorded several weeks ago. Cantlie cites no recent news events in the current installment. The few quotes from academics he offered to bolster the idea that Western governments were embarking on an endless war they could not win came from articles published in late August and early September.
The previous video, which was posted Sunday, also seemed to suggest that it had been filmed some weeks ago. Cantlie made references to the beheading of British hostage David Haines – that execution video was posted Sept. 13 – but not to the murder of hostage Alan Henning, the video of which was posted Oct. 3.
In Thursday’s video, which ran nearly eight minutes and was released on a known jihadist Internet forum, Cantlie spoke of events only in general terms. He mentioned the U.S. bombing of Islamic State targets in Iraq, which began in early August, but not the expansion of that campaign to Syria, which took place Sept. 23.
A comparison of the four published videos in the series shows Cantlie in about the same physical condition, with his beard and hair at about the same length. A fifth video, in which Cantlie had announced that he would appear in a seven-video series, appears to have been shot at a different time. It was posted to the Internet Sept. 18. The subsequent videos appeared on Sept. 23, Sept. 29, Sunday and Thursday.
Cantlie was abducted by militants affiliated with the Islamic State on Nov. 22, 2012, along with American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded in a video posted on Aug. 19. The group has since murdered American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid workers Haines and Henning.
Henning’s execution video included a threat to murder American aid worker Peter Kassig.