Condemning an act of “pure evil,” British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday vowed that Britain would do all it can to catch the killers of a British aid worker beheaded by the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL).
In its third apparent beheading of a Western hostage in less than a month, the group on Saturday released a video showing the execution of Briton David Haines and threatening the life of another British captive.
As US President Barack Obama offered US support for its “ally in grief,” Cameron faced growing calls to allow Britain’s military to help in Washington’s planned assault against the extremist group.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was in Paris to push for a broad coalition against the group and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott committed 600 troops to the effort, denouncing the extremists as a “death cult.”
Cameron was to chair a meeting of the UK’s Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms, or Cobra, emergency committee early yesterday in response to the online video, which showed a masked militant claiming the execution was in retribution for Britain’s role in the campaign against the group.
Cameron called the attack “a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker” and “an act of pure evil.”
“We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes,” he said in a statement.
Two US journalists were murdered in similar circumstances in recent weeks.
Obama slammed the latest attack as “barbaric” and said the US “stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve.”
Britain has yet to join US airstrikes against the group in Iraq, but has offered to arm Kurdish fighters in the north of the country, a move cited in the latest video as a reason for revenge.
Haines, 44, was taken hostage in Syria in March last year and was threatened in a video released this month showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by an extremist. The group released a video claiming the execution of US journalist James Foley on Aug. 19.
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