ISIS Releases New Hostage Video as American Strikes Begin

Breaking News Emails

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

Just as the United States began airstrikes in Syria, ISIS released a new propaganda video in which a British hostage compares the fight against the militants to the American quagmire in Vietnam. The hostage, John Cantlie, a photographer who worked for the Sunday Times newspaper before he was abducted in 2012, appears in an orange jump suit. The six-minute video is the second installment in a series that ISIS has likened to lecture videos. Cantlie describes U.S. efforts to build an anti-ISIS coalition as a circus.

“All the while completely underestimating the strength and fighting zeal of the opponent,” he says. “Not since Vietnam have we witnessed such a potential mess in the making.” The video mocks President Barack Obama for having called the Iraq war “done,” and it demonstrates an understanding of American media. It quotes a former CIA analyst and an ex-New Jersey governor in their analysis of the complexities of the Middle East. ISIS militants have beheaded two American hostages and one Briton, and have threatened the life of another British hostage, Alan Henning.


— Ryan Creed and Cassandra Vinograd