Britain Considers Operation to Rescue British Hostage from Islamic State
By Vittorio Hernandez | September 4, 2014 8:05 AM EST
Britain had tried in the past but was not successful in rescuing a Briton who was threatened by members of the Islamic State to be next on their chopping block, after it beheaded within two weeks apart two American journalists.
REUTERS/Islamic State via Reut
A video purportedly showing U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff kneeling next to a masked Islamic State fighter holding a knife in an unknown location in this still image from video released by Islamic State September 2, 2014. The Islamic State released a video purporting to show the beheading of Sotloff, a monitoring service said on Tuesday, as the militant group raised the stakes in its confrontation with Washington over U.S. air strikes on its fighters in Iraq.
But British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the government is considering holding an operation to rescue the Briton from the hands of jihadists so that he would be spared the fate that befell James Foley on Aug 19 and Steven Sotloff on Sept 2.
"You are aware of course of the rescue attempt that took place sometime ago, unfortunately unsuccessfully. You wouldn't expect me to discuss the various options we will be considering, but I can assure you we will look at every possible option to protect this person," The Telegraph quoted Hammond.
The US likewise attempted to rescue Foley, Sotloff and other hostages through a helicopter-borne raid on an Iraqi town, but it failed to locate the hostages.
Hammond also confirmed that the IS video of the beheading of Sotloff, released on Tuesday, is authentic and the man in black wielding the knife, called Jihadist John and identified by intelligence agencies as Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, a former British rapper, is the one who also decapitated Foley two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday that justice will be served on the killer of Sotloff, but at the same time he asked Americans and the world to prepare for a long-haul fight against the "most nihilist brand of Islamist insurgency."
Referring to the IS as the first and foremost regional threat that aims to destroy the Muslim world, Arab world and North America, Mr Obama stressed, "What we got to do is make sure that we are organising the Arab world, the Middle East, the Muslim world along with the international community to isolate this cancer."
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