A new video purporting to be from the Islamic State group appears to show the beheading of a British hostage kidnapped last year in Syria.
The British Foreign Office says it is working urgently to verify the authenticity of a video appearing to show the beheading of 44-year-old aid worker David Haines, originally from Scotland.
In the video a man reads out a statement denouncing the British prime minister David Cameron for working with the United States against the Islamic State group before apparently being killed by a masked militant.
The format follows the same pattern as videos released of two American journalists recently murdered by the militants James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
The release of the video comes a day after the family of Mr Haines appealed to his captors to contact them. It is understood Mr Haines’s family has been informed of the latest video.
Mr Haines, a father of two from Perth in Scotland, was kidnapped last year while working for the French agency ACTED.
In the footage, the man who identifies himself as Mr Haines said he holds Mr Cameron “entirely responsible” for his execution.
The masked executioner dressed in black with a British accent – who stands over Mr Haines shown kneeling and wearing an orange jumpsuit – accused blamed Mr Cameron for joining a coalition with the United States against the IS.
“Following a trend amongst our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans,” he said.
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State.”
The militant, who may be the same man as in the previous videos, told Britain the alliance will “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war”. He also threatens to execute another British hostage.
A short time after the video was released, Mr Cameron tweeted that “the murder of David Haines is an act of pure evil”.
“My heart goes out to his family who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude,” Mr Cameron said.
“We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”
Britain has delivered humanitarian aid, carried out surveillance, given weapons to Kurds and promised training in Iraq.
On military action, Britain supports US air strikes and Mr Cameron has repeatedly said Britain itself has ruled nothing out except combat troops on the ground.
ACTED said Mr Haines has been a humanitarian aid worker since 1999, helping victims of conflict in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East.
Below is the transcript:
David Haines – My name is David Cawthorne Haines. I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution. You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as you’re predecessor, Tony Blair, did. Following a trend amongst our British Prime Ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans. Unfortunately, it is we, the British public, that will in the end pay the price for our Parliaments selfish decisions.
Executioner – This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State. Ironically, he has spent a decade of his life serving under the same Royal Air Force that is responsible for delivering those arms. Your evil alliance with America which continues to strike the Muslims of Iraq and most recently bombed the Haditha Dam will only accelerate your destruction. And playing the role of the obedient lapdog, Cameron, will only drag you and your people into another bloody and unwinnable war.