Islamic State militants have released a video claiming to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines, in what British Prime Minister David Cameron has described as “an act of pure evil.”
The 44-year-old Haines was abducted in Syria in 2013 while working for an international aid agency. The British government had managed to keep his kidnapping secret out of concern for his safety until the most recent video identified him as a captive.
Prime Minister David Cameron described the apparent murder as “an act of pure evil” in a tweet from his official account.
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.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) September 13, 2014
Sky News reports that Cameron is returning to Downing Street to chair a COBRA emergency response meeting.
The UK Foreign Office had said earlier in a statement that they were “working urgently to verify” the video.
“If true, this is another disgusting murder,” the Foreign Office said in the statement.
In the video, the victim identifies himself as Haines before addressing the camera.
“I would like to declare that I hold you David Cameron entirely responsible for my execution,” the victim says.
— Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) September 13, 2014
“This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State,” the executioner said, according to LiveLeak.