- POSTED: 20 Aug 2014 20:15
- UPDATED: 20 Aug 2014 21:31
British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the apparent killing of a US journalist by an Islamic State (IS) militant as "shocking and depraved".
LONDON: British Prime Minister David Cameron has condemned the apparent killing of a US journalist by an Islamic State (IS) militant as "shocking and depraved". Mr Cameron interrupted his holiday on Wednesday (Aug 20) to return to his Downing Street office in London to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria.
Islamic State militants posted a video on Tuesday that purported to show the beheading of American journalist James Foley in revenge for US air strikes against the insurgents in Iraq. The executioner in the video spoke with a British accent.
Since the video was posted online, intelligence and security agencies, both in the US and in the UK, have been pouring over that footage, trying to match anything in that video to pre-existing intelligence and data - specifically looking at the known British nationals who have travelled to the Middle East to fight for the IS, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said: "Well, we are very concerned about the apparent fact that the murderer in question is British and we are urgently investigating. Agencies on both sides of the Atlantic are, first of all, looking to authenticate the video to make sure that it is genuine - sadly it appears to be - and then to see if we can identify the individual in question."
Since the militant in the video spoke with an English accent, experts say this will put further pressure on the British Prime Minister to act.
Dr Dwayne Ryan Menezes from the Human Security Centre said: "This is frightful for this country. This is not where ISIS is intimidating this country, it is where we need to look into what is happening in our domestic affairs. What are we growing in our backyards? It is a cancer that's going to eat, corrode, not only this society but again pose an international threat."
The latest development brings home warnings Mr Cameron issued on Sunday when he said that IS poses a "direct and deadly" threat to the British public. Mr Hammond in his statement said that the government is aware of a large number of British nationals who have travelled to the Middle East to carry out what he calls "horrific crimes".
Of course, the main concern is that those British nationals who want to return to the UK at some point, bringing with them that desire to carry out deadly attacks on British streets. But for now the investigation into the beheading video continues. And of course this further complicates the situation not only in Iraq but relations between America and the UK.