John Cantlie, English Spokesman for ISIS



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John Cantlie is back again on another ISIS video, this time reporting from Kobani, a Syrian border city. In the video that lasts just over five minutes, Cantlie reports that the terror group actually has most of the control in the city. Cantlie also states that Western media is not fully aware of the control the “Islamic State” has in Kobani. He claims that ISIS fighters are wrapping up and that the battle within the city is finished. Kurdish forces in Syria say the fight is far from finished and soon enough Iraqi Kurdish forces will be joining them.

The Kurdish forces and ISIS have been clashing in the border city for over a month. It was reported that over 800 people have been killed since the fighting began, around the same time as the video of Cantlie was posted. Cantlie has been held against his will for over two years. The British photojournalist had reported stories for several prominent British newspapers. In the first video of Cantlie released last month, he makes is very clear that he was being forced to share the message. The video released Oct. 27th shows John in all black reporting so close to Kobani you can see the Turkish flags in the background. An air drop last week that was meant to drop supplies to Kurdish forces in Kobani actually got into the hands of the ISIS. The group had claimed this about a week ago, Cantlie confirms this claim, which also means the video was recorded last week.  The ISIS video using John Cantlie  When he speaks of the “mujahideen” he is speaking of ISIS.

“It appeared like a standup that a CNN correspondent would do in a foreign city,” Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, said. “It was designed to show that he’s calm, that what he’s saying is accurate. But clearly he’s against his will.” CIA counter terrorism officials say the video is purely a propaganda pay. Although the video is supposed to show the strength of the ISIS, Phillip Mudd says it actually shows weakness within the militant group. Mudd is a current CIA counter terrorism official.

In the report I made last month on the first video of Cantlie, he seems to be very calm and collective. I think anyone would act calm if they were forced against their will to make a video for people that wouldn’t think twice to kill him. At this point, Cantlie is valuable to the ISIS as a spokesman and as a hostage. Cantlie is only doing this because his British government has left him behind, not really making the effort to find and save him from his captors. ISIS is still trying to get across a series of messages through Cantlie, which is smart of the militant group to keep a well-spoken and widely know western person hostage. I’m really hoping that John Cantlie really plays his cards right because then he will not meet the same fate as his fellow reporter, James Foley.

This story shows how difficult it must be for President Obama and other Western leaders to make the best informed decisions when it comes to the war on terror.