UPDATE: PM makes statement on David Haines murder

A 44-year old British aid worker has been executed, becoming the third victim of ISIS cold blooded political murder.

A video has emerged appearing to show the execution of David Haines; a British aid worker who was kidnapped in Syria in 2013.

The British Foreign Office has released a statement in which Mike Haines, his brother, said David, who has two children, “was and is loved by all his family.”

He added:”David was most alive and enthusiastic in his humanitarian roles. His joy and anticipation for the work he went to do in Syria is for myself and family the most important element of this whole sad affair.”

David Haines, born in Holderness, East Yorkshire, is shown in the video saying “”My name is David Cawthorne Haines. I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution.”

The extremist in the video, who appears to have a British accent, then says: “This British man has to pay the price for your promise, Cameron, to arm the Peshmerga against the Islamic State.”

Barack Obama,US President, said “our hearts go out to the family of Mr Haines and to the people of the United Kingdom”.

The apparent execution of Mr Haines follows those of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

In the newly released video the Islamic Militant also threatens to kill another British man, named in the video as Alan Henning, and says “If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic State then you like your master Obama will have the blood of your people on your hands.”

The series of executions have prompted several commentators to demand firm and swift action.

Lord Dannatt, former head of the British Army, said the UK should respond by playing its role in the assault against IS that has been promised by the US President.

“What we absolutely need to do is not be cowed in any way by yet another foul murder of a hostage,” he said.

The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, who chaired a meeting of the COBRA committee on Sunday morning, read a statement from the offices at 10 Downing Street which said: “We will hunt down those responsible and bring them to justice. David Haines was an aid worker. He went into harms way not to harm people but to help his fellow human beings in the hour of their direst need, from the Balkans to the Middle East. His family spoke of the joy he felt when he learned he got his job in Syria.

“David Haines was a British hero. The fact that an aid worker was taken, held and brutally murdered at the hand of Islamic State sums up what this organisation stands for: the killing and slaughtering of thousands of people. They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace.

“They are not Muslims, they are monsters. They make no secret of their desire to do as much harm, not just in the Middle East, but to any countries. The British people need to know that this is a fanatical organisation that has not only murdered a British hostage, they have planned and continue to plan attacks across Europe and in our country. We are peaceful people. We do not seek out confrontation, and we need to understand, we cannot ignore this threat to our security and that of our allies. There is no option of keeping our heads down that would make us safe.

“The problem would merely get worse, as it has done over recent months, not just for us but for Europe and the world. We cannot just walk on by if we are to keep this country safe. We have to confront this menace. 

“Step-by-step we must drive back, dismantle and ultimately destroy Islamic State and what it stands for. We will do so in a calm, deliberate way with an iron determination; not on our own but by working closely with our allies.

“Not just in the United States and Europe, but also in the region. This organisation poses a massive threat to the entire Middle East. So we will defeat them through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.

“First we will work with the Iraqi government to ensure it represents all of its people and is able to tackle this threat effectively. We will support the Kurdish regional government who are holding the front line against Islamic State.

“We will help them protect their own people including the minority of Christians, through supply and training. We will mobilise the broadest possible support to bear down on them. The United States is taking direct military action. We support that.British tornadoes and surveillance aircraft have been helping with intelligence gathering and logistics.

“This is not about British combat troops on the ground it is about working with others to extinguish this terrorist threat. As this strategy intensifies, we are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to deal with this threat and keep our country safe.

“It falls to the government and to each and every one of us to drain this poison from our society and to take on this warped ideology that is radicalising some of our young people. The murder of David Haines at the hands of Islamic State will not lead Britain to shirk our responsibility to deal with this threat.

“It must strengthen our resolve. We must recognise that it will take time to eradicate a threat like this. It will require, as I have described, action at home and abroad. This is not something we can do on our own. We have to work with the rest of the world.

“Ultimately, our security as a nation, the way we go about our everyday lives in this free and tolerant society that is Britain, has always depended on our readiness to act against those who stand for hatred and who stand for destruction, and that is exactly what we will do.”


Here is the full transcript of the video:

David Haines – “My name is David Cawthorne Haines. I would like to declare that I hold you, David Cameron, entirely responsible for my execution.”

Islamic Militant – “This British man has to the 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.”
The militant then appears to execute David Haines. Though the actual murder is not shown, the video does show what appear to be Mr Haines’ legs, his orange trousers covered in blood.
The Militant then appears with the second man and says -“If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic state then you, like your master Obama, will have the blood of your people on your hands.”
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