British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held captive by the militant outfit Islamic State that has already killed three Western hostages, now appears to be the 'spokesman' of the terror group.
The scribe, appearing in a new propaganda video, promises to reveal 'the truth' about Western media and governments.
Cantlie had been captured by the Sunni militants two years ago, when he was reporting in Syria for several British newspapers, including The Sun, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph, and could face death at the hands of the Islamic State that has threatened to kill more American and British citizens if the respective governments continue to target it in Iraq.
However, the outfit seems to have adopted a new tactic this time around, making Cantlie a 'spokesman' for the group in what seems to be the first of a series of videos to 'bring out the truth behind Islamic State' and expose how the Western media is allegedly being 'manipulated'.
In the 3-minute video titled "Lend Me your Ears" Cantlie, 43, is seen in the trademark orange outfit that the Islamic State has reserved for its victims reportedly to resemble the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, seeming calm but under duress while speaking for the group and lashing out at the Western media and government.
Watch the Video:
"My name is John Cantlie, a British journalist who used to work for some of the bigger newspapers and magazines in UK. In November 2012, I came to Syria, where I was captured by the Islamic State. Now, nearly two years later, many things have changes, including the expansion of IS, to include area bigger than Britain."
To allay suspicions that he was part of the video under a threat to his life, Cantlie says that his "fate lies with the Islamic State as he was abandoned by his government".
"Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking: 'he's only doing this because he's a prisoner. He's got a gun at his head and he's being forced to do this,' right?" he says in the video. "Well it's true I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I've been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of Islamic State I have nothing to lose."
Cantlie is then heard lashing out at the Western media, accusing it of "manipulating truth" and leading the public to yet another war.
"Maybe I will live or maybe I will die. But I will take this opportunity to convey some facts that if you contemplate might help in preserving lives. Over the next few programmes, I am going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war.
After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict," he says.
He then goes on to talk about how the British and American governments were abandoning their citizens even as other governments were readily negotiating with the Islamic State to free their nationals.
"I am going to show you the truth behind the systems and motivation of the Islamic State and how the western media can manipulate and twist the truth for the public back home. I will show you the truth behind what happened when many European citizens were imprisoned and later released by the Islamic State. Every other European country negotiated with the Islamic State and got their people home, while the British and Americans were left behind," he says.
Cantlie had escaped from captivity in Syria in 2012 and had revealed how British nationals were working with the militants. However, he returned to Syria a few months later and was captured again.