Islamic State (IS) have just released a new video that features the journalist John Cantlie. Until now, his whereabouts in Syria were unknown, but it now looks as if he has been captured by IS.
This time, the video takes a different format. There is (thankfully) no beheading, but it’s sinister in different ways. Cantlie, believed to be 43, says he will broadcast a series of videos that will reveal the ‘manipulated truths’ employed by the Western media.
The video is entitled ‘Lend me your ears’. In it, Cantlie says:
‘Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: “He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner, he’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this,” right?
‘Well, it’s true. I am a prisoner, that I cannot deny. But seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of the Islamic State I have nothing to lose.
‘Over the next few programmes I’m going to show you the truth as the Western media tries to drag the public back to the abyss of another war with the Islamic State.
‘After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?’
IS have so far played a very clever game. As Douglas Murray wrote, they are setting our news agenda with their drip-drip of beheading videos.
This one takes a different turn, though. I imagine IS are about to release a handful of short videos, which will pump out their propaganda, hoping to keep viewers returning for each fresh instalment.
Where could they have learnt this viral video technique? Well, a month ago, Vice News released their films looking at IS. They were a huge hit and, as I wrote, showed that Vice and Isis had formed a bizarre symbiotic relationship.
So should we expect a series of Vice-inspired propaganda videos to land on YouTube any day now?