Kidnapped British journalist appears in new ISIS video
Standing before the shell of what was once the University of Mosul, a visibly gaunt and long-haired John Cantlie appears in a new video published by an ISIS-linked agency, as though he were reporting a news story.
Filmed by a drone audibly buzzing over him, Cantlie criticizes the bombing of the university, which he describes as the most prestigious and oldest in all of Iraq. "The level of destruction is absolutely massive," he says into the camera. "If it was a military hard point if it was a weapons cache ... perhaps you could understand ... you have to ask yourself, why did the coalition decide to destroy the university?"
The captive Cantlie has been an ISIS mouthpiece for years, masquerading as a reporter in videos meant to look like news clips—to present the terror group's own version of events. When ISIS took over the University of Mosul in 2014, the terror group destroyed thousands of ancient manuscripts before re-opening it under its own harsh curriculum and banning subjects including art, philosophy, music, and the study of evolution.
In reality, Baghdad's Mustansariya University is the country's oldest educational institution—not the University of Mosul as Cantlie states. Mustansariya's earliest buildings were established in the 13th century.
RELATED: See how ISIS has impacted one town
The video, released by the pro-ISIS media network Amaq, is said to have been made on July 12. In it, Cantlie says the bombing of the university occurred several months ago.
The Pentagon reported in March that the university had been targeted because it was used by ISIS as one of its headquarters in the city. The group had not expected the university to be hit because it was in the middle of a residential and commercial district and the civilian toll would have been high. In the video, Cantlie says over a hundred people were wounded in the strike and 15 were killed, but does not say whether they were civilians or ISIS members.
Cantlie, wearing a grey shirt and black trousers made loose by his thinness, also appears in front of the bombed-out facade of a bank he says the coalition fired a missile into, setting it ablaze. "This isn't some fancy bank for foreign international clients it's a bank for the people of Mosul," Cantlie says. "It serves Mosul and they've set it on fire with a huge missile in the middle of a civilian shopping center. The danger to civilian life is enormous and what do they do? Unbelievable."
The bank is one of four hit by the coalition in February this year. In the aftermath, the Pentagon said they were used as financial distribution centers for the group, while ISIS took to social media to claim "the banks were totally empty of cash."
Cantlie was kidnapped in November 2012 along with American journalist James Foley, who the terror group executed in August 2014. Since then, Cantlie has appeared in countless propaganda films for the group and "penned" articles in ISIS' Dabiq magazine, in which he criticizes the U.S. administration. He was last seen in a video for ISIS in March.
The post Kidnapped British Journalist Appears In New ISIS Video appeared first on Vocativ.