Britain says IS hostage John Cantlie may still be alive

Blanche Robertson
February 7, 2019

British journalist, John Cantlie, who was kidnapped in Syria in 2012, is believed to be alive and still held by IS, a United Kingdom minister has said.

Wallace told reporters in London the British government believed Cantlie was still being held by the IS, the Independent reported.

Cantlie was later featured in a series of mock news reports from different IS strongholds and his byline appeared on articles in the group's English-language magazine. But he said officials believe Cantlie is still being held by ISIS extremists.

On Tuesday, the "Free John Cantlie" campaign said it was "aware of the current news circulating" that he is alive. In one of the earlier videos, he appeared in an orange jumpsuit, sitting at a desk with a black background, presumably speaking under duress.

Taliban sit for second day with Afghan leaders in Moscow
On February 25, U.S. and Taliban representatives are expected to meet again in Doha for a second round of separate peace talks. The Taliban remains averse to any direct or indirect talks with the Kabul government, dismissing it as an American "puppet".

Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria in late 2012 alongside James Foley, the US journalist, who was beheaded on camera in 2014.

Senior Whitehall sources were incensed at Wallace for his remarks, saying he might have put Cantlie's life in jeopardy by commenting on his status, The Telegraph reported.

Last October, Paris Match quoted an ISIS fighter who said he saw the journalist "seven or eight months ago" while in prison. American journalist Steven Sotloff and British aid worker David Haines were also among the hostages that ISIS killed.

He refused to provide details but said it was not United Kingdom policy to pay ransoms. His father Paul Cantlie released a video shortly before dying, two years after his capture.

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