In the latest ISIS video featuring kidnapped British journalist John Cantlie, the Islamic State militants have claimed that the Iraqi city of Mosul has prospered under their rule unlike what is reported in the Western media.
In the new ISIS propaganda video - "From Inside Mosul", Cantlie takes viewers through a tour of Mosul, and is seen describing 'normalcy' in the city. In the video which lasts for a little over eight minutes, Cantlie drives through Mosul in a car, walks down crowded streets, shops in a local souk, visits a children's ward and rides a police motorcycle.
The attempt by Cantlie to paint a life of normalcy in the predominantly Sunni Muslim city of two million people is being seen as a desperate measure by the ISIS leadership to shoot down reports from CNN, Al Arabiya and The Guardian that portray Mosul as repressed and struggling to function.
"This is not a city living in fear, as Western media would have you believe," Cantlie says while walking through Mosul's oldest souk (outdoor market). This is just a normal city going about its daily business."
In the last few months several media reports have questioned the Islamic State's ability to provide even basic amenities for its citizens.
The Briton starts the propaganda film "From the Top of the World," and is then seen repeatedly asserting that Mosul is no different than any other large city in the world.
"The media likes to paint a picture of life in the Islamic State as depressed, people walking around as subjugated citizens in chains, beaten down by strict totalitarian rule," Cantlie says as he drives a car through the city.
"Life here in Mosul is business as usual."
Cantlie shoots down reports the city has very little electricity and that the prices of goods and services have skyrocketed to the point of being unaffordable.
The captive reporter repeatedly claims to see "thousands of people" everywhere, however at no point do the cameras ever leave his face. The hoards of Iraqis are never shown.
He then takes viewers to the wing of a local hospital populated by stone-faced children said to be "averse to loud noises" because of the constant bombing runs over the city.
"There is plenty of electricity," he again claims, adding that doctors have assured him all patients are "receiving the medicine they need."
Cantlie is then shown outside the hospital, curiously shouting at what is alleged to be a Western aircraft flying above.
"Have you come to rescue me? Drop more bombs?" He shouts as he wildly waves his arms. "Do something useless."
The strange attack on Western media wraps up with Cantlie hopping out of a police car, notably an American-made Chevrolet, and deriding Mosul police for fleeing the city in 2004 as American forces approached.
He then goes on a police motorcycle ride through the city with a chuckling terrorist as his pillion rider.
Cantlie then concludes the tour of Mosul standing on the street with a monitor showing his previous messages to the West.
He then says, "Playing in the background is a screen ...showing me reporting from Kobani. And now, here I am on the streets of Mosul. It just goes to show the stretch of the territory the Islamic State holds.
Cantlie has featured in several ISIS propaganda videos and was taken as hostage by the terrorist group in Syria in 2012.