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Syria: One decade since Daesh kidnap British journalist John Cantlie

November 22, 2022 at 10:48 am

John Cantlie, a photojournalist from the UK, was kidnapped in Syria in 2012 [Twitter]

It’s been a decade since the British photojournalist John Cantlie was kidnapped by Daesh in Syria and he was last seen alive in 2016.

According to the BBC, he is the only foreign hostage never released or murdered on camera, unlike American journalist James Foley whose brutal execution was filmed and released online.

Cantlie was kidnapped by Daesh in 2012, along with Foley, whilst crossing the border from Turkiye into Syria.

In captivity he was tortured but was neither released for ransom nor murdered on camera like his fellow American and British cellmates.

READ: British schoolgirl who joined Daesh likely trafficking victim, court told

As well as Foley, Americans Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig were beheaded in Daesh propaganda videos, as were British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

According to a Times article, Cantlie survived because he converted to Islam, appearing as a presenter for 14 propaganda videos, and authored eight articles for the Islamic State’s online magazine, Dabiq.

Cantlie told one of his fellow detainees that he was doing it against his will.

Two of his captors, Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, also known as the Beatles, were tried in an American court in April and jailed for life after pleading guilty to abduction, torture and beheading Daesh hostages in Syria.

Cotlie was the longest surviving British or American hostage and though his body has never been found, his family have recently held a funeral for him.