ISIS released a new propaganda video yesterday in which the British journalist taken hostage with James Foley, John Cantlie, was seen endorsing the video. The film also comes across as a sort of tour, showing the world the destruction the West has done.
Cantlie guides viewers through Aleppo, a Syrian city that was bombed and is now controlled by ISIS. He says in the video, which is the last in a series of propaganda films ISIS has released with Cantlie in them, the destruction was done by the Syrian government and the U.S. coalition air strikes.
He also stops at a Syrian court and religious school, where he explains Islamic Sharia law is the law of God and thus, cannot be changed. Cantlie goes on to explain that the city lying in rubble is still fully functioning while under the jihadi rule. Education under ISIS rule is a major concern for the West. The film explains that religious studies are a major part of the curriculum, however, students also learn languages as well as study the Quran.
The film mirrors a documentary and is titled, From Inside Halab. Cantlie, who is now 40 years old, appears in good health in the video. While shown sitting in a sharia court, he explains why justice in this system surpasses that of democratic systems in the West. He says that “if you are convicted of a robbery, then you have your hand cut off,” it is simple.
A drone is then spotted above their filming location and the video cuts to Cantlie showing the aftermath of an air strike and explaining that ISIS soldiers are already on the scene.
Near the end of the film, French jihad members are interviewed and asked about the attacks in France this past month. They respond immediately saying they are very happy with what has happened. Press stands are also shown in this video, showing newspapers that are not “contaminated by the West” being handed out to civilians. The jihadist who was interviewed also goes on to say that there are millions of Muslims already in the West and that “they are there to attack.”
In the British hostage’s first propaganda video for ISIS, he admits that he is a prisoner there. However he has realized that his fate now lies in the hands on this extremist group because his “government has abandoned him.” Flash-forward to this “end-of-the-series” video, when Cantlie describes the Syrian land he is looking down on as “breathtaking” and a “place of serenity and beauty.”
Twitter accounts of ISIS members are blowing up with internet hits. People are asking for more Cantlie videos. Officials in the West are afraid that Cantlie has inspired many to kill. The British hostage seen in ISIS propaganda videos has gone viral in both the Middle East and the West.
Officials are also worried that announcing his “end of the series” may mean that his execution date is nearing. However, they are still unsure and it is very possible that this statement simply means he will continue a new series later on.
Written by Audrey Madden
Photo by – Jose Javier Martin Espartosa – Creative Commons License