Family of murdered British aid worker Haines release statement
Posted on 04/25/19 1:50 PM
“He was and is loved by all his family and will be missed terribly,” the statement on Sunday said.
“David was most alive and enthusiastic in his humanitarian roles. His joy and anticipation for the work he went to do in Syria is for myself and family the most important element of this whole sad affair.”
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to do everything possible to punish those responsible for Haines’ “evil” execution.
“This is a despicable and appalling murder of an innocent aid worker. It is an act of pure evil,” Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement.
“We will do everything in our power to hunt down these murderers and ensure they face justice, however long it takes.”
Cameron, who was seen entering Downing Street shortly before midnight Saturday, will chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee early Sunday in response to an online video purportedly showing a masked militant killing Haines.
US President Barack Obama has expressed solidarity with Britain.
“The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines by the terrorist group ISIL,” Obama said in a statement, using an alternate acronym for the group.
“The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve.”
The latest two-minute-27-second video, which shows Haines being killed by a masked militant, is titled “A Message to the Allies of America”.
The executioner, who speaks in English with an apparently British accent, blames Cameron for joining forces with the United States, which has said it is at “war” with the jihadists and launched air strikes against them in Iraq.
“Our hearts go out to the family of Mr Haines and to the people of the United Kingdom,” Obama said, vowing to hunt down the killers and destroy IS,” Obama said.
“We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice, and to degrade and destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world,” he said.
The video appeared less than a day after the aid worker’s family appealed to his captors to contact them.
Cameron tweeted that his “heart goes out to his family who have shown extraordinary courage and fortitude”.
Two US journalists have been murdered in similar circumstances in recent weeks.
In the video Haines, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, identifies himself in English and calmly explains he is paying the price for Cameron’s policy.
Addressing Cameron, the executioner also speaks in English, with an apparently British accent.
“You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend amongst our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans.”
The militant, who may be the same man as in the previous two beheading videos, tells Britain the alliance will “accelerate your destruction” and will drag the British people into “another bloody and unwinnable war.”
He also threatens to execute another captive, identified in a caption by name as another British citizen.
Scottish-born Haines, 44, was taken hostage in Syria in March 2013 and was threatened in a video released this month depicting the beheading by an IS militant of the US journalist Steven Sotloff.
Haines had been working for the Agency for Technical Co-operation and Development (ACTED), an international relief charity, and was previously involved in humanitarian work in the Balkans, parts of Africa and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Sotloff and fellow US journalist James Foley had also been kidnapped in Syria. IS released a video claiming Foley’s execution on August 19, and Sotloff’s two weeks later on September 2.