Family of Beheaded British Hostage Alan Henning 'Devastated' By Killing

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The wife of the latest British hostage executed by ISIS said his loved ones are “numb with grief” — while the man’s brother-in-law accused the British government of not doing enough to help free him. Alan Henning, an aid worker captured in Syria in December 2013, was beheaded on a video released Friday by the jihadist extremists. The 47-year-old former taxi driver is the fourth Western hostage shown slain by ISIS in an execution video since August.

Henning’s wife, Barbara, said in a statement Saturday that she, their two children and their other family and friends are “devastated” by his death. “Alan was a decent, caring human being,” the statement said. “His interest was in the welfare of others. He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped.”

Henning’s brother-in-law, Colin Livesey, said he was holding out hope that Henning would be rescued. “I don’t believe in hope no more,” he told NBC News’ U.K. partner, ITV News. Livesey said in an interview with the BBC that the British government could have done more to help Henning and another executed British hostage, David Haines. Unlike other countries, however, Britain and the U.S. don’t negotiate with terrorists or pay ransoms.



— Erik Ortiz