The Islamic State on Monday posted on the Internet a third video featuring imprisoned British journalist John Cantlie, this one mocking President Barack Obama’s Sept. 10 speech in which he laid out his strategy for confronting the group.
Cantlie, who has been a prisoner of the Islamic State for nearly two years, appears pale and thin, and he sounds more stressed than in the previous two videos. In the five-and-a-half-minute video, he wore an orange shirt that mimics the uniforms of prisoners held by the United States at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
His presentation seemed less polished than in the previous videos. He described the American-European-Arab intervention against the Islamic State as unpopular and unlikely to succeed and said that it was not supported by the American people, but then noted that direct action against the Islamic State was supported by 70 percent of Americans.
He also took issue with Obama’s statement that the Islamic State had murdered or abused Iraqi Christian and Yazidi women and children, or that it had killed Muslims. But in words that were no doubt written by his captors, Cantlie acknowledged that the group kills Shiite Muslims, saying that Shiites were “worse than Americans because they are apostates claiming to be Muslims while worshiping the dead,” a reference to the Shiite tradition of praying at the graves of dead religious figures.
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The Islamic State released the previous Cantlie videos – bizarrely titled “Lend Me Your Ears” – on Sept. 18 and Sept. 23, the later one the same day that the U.S. began bombing raids on Islamic State targets inside Syria. Cantlie does not mention the airstrikes, suggesting that the third video was recorded before the strikes had taken place.
The Islamic State released three videos documenting the executions of two Americans and a Briton in August. They’ve threatened to behead a fourth Briton. The group is said to hold about 20 Westerners, including at least two more Americans, none of whom have appeared on video.