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Like Foley and Sotloff, British hostage threatened by Islamic State “helped Muslims”

This is not surprising. Typical, actually.

Both James Foley and Steve Sotloff were sympathetic to the jihad cause. Foley went to Syria because he was “exasperated by islamophobia” and wanted to “build bridges between Muslims and Christians.” And Sotloff was supportive of terror organizations in Egypt. And Syria. Many of Sotloff’s tweets show sympathy for terrorists.

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 12.43.36 AMThe British hostage now being held by his British Muslim executioner “worked so hard” for Bosnian Muslims.

“British hostage threatened by Jihadi John helped Muslims in Balkans”

The aid worker threatened with beheading by Islamist terrorists has ‘tried so hard’ to help others, friends say

The jihadist holds the British hostage at the end of the Sotloff video

The jihadist holds the British hostage at the end of the Sotloff video, 03 Sep 2014

A British hostage threatened with beheading by Islamist terrorists spent years helping Muslims rebuild war-torn communities in the Balkans, it has emerged.

Former colleagues said the aid worker was revered by Muslims in Croatia, who nicknamed him the “Crazy Scotsman”.

They said they could not understand why the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) wanted to murder him when he had “tried so hard to help” Muslims.

A video of the 44-year-old father of two was sent to his wife as “proof of life” after he was abducted near a Syrian refugee camp last year, a friend of the family said.

The hostage’s young daughter was shown the video, the only sight she has had of her father in the past 17 months. Another hostage being held with the Briton before being released two months ago contacted the wife to say his captors were treating him “humanely”.

But the hostage’s life was threatened by the British terrorist known as “Jihadi John” in an Isil video showing the murder of the US journalist Steven Sotloff.

The Briton was described as a “fantastic man and father”. His family is clinging to the hope that he is still alive and could be rescued by the SAS.

Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said the Government would examine “every possible option” to save him from terrorists described by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, as “psychopaths”.

The British hostage, who has not been named by the Foreign Office, was born in northern England but grew up in Scotland and works in logistics for a foreign-based firm. He has a primary school age daughter with his second wife and a teenage daughter by a previous marriage.

Between 1999 and 2004 he worked for an aid organisation helping rebuild communities in Croatia, where he and his wife have set up home.

A former colleague said: “I was so shocked when I heard he had been abducted, but I deeply believe that he can survive this.

“He has a real Scottish character and I believe he is unbreakable.

“I was helping him rebuild the community. We were rebuilding houses, restarting schools that had been destroyed in the fighting.

“He used to help everyone — the Serbs, the Croats and the ethnic Muslims. He was completely fair to everyone and wanted to improve their lives. That’s why I was surprised that he had been kidnapped by Muslims, because he tried so hard to help them.”

He said the Briton felt it was his “mission” to help people whose lives had been destroyed by war.

He said: “He was going from house to house asking what they needed to be able to return. They needed their houses built and their schools restored.

“He was someone who didn’t believe in bureaucracy. Even though he was in charge, he never talked down to anyone.

“When there were tensions in the community, he would bring people together to resolve them. He is tough but completely open-minded. I truly believe that will help him escape this situation.

“He is different from the journalists that were captured because he was in there helping people, rather than just reporting. Even though he left nearly 10 years ago, people still talk about him. They called him the Crazy Scotsman.”

The Briton was kidnapped in March last year near the Atmeh refugee camp on the Turkish border with the northern Syrian province of Idlib. He was grouped with other hostages and moved between more than 10 locations in Syria.

His family had been given hope two months ago when a French hostage, abducted at the same time, was released. A family friend said: “When the Frenchman got out he contacted the family and said the British hostage was being treated humanely. I heard this from his wife, who joked that it sounded like he was in a four star hotel.”

She said she also heard his daughter was shown a video of her father in captivity. Security experts said the video could have been sent through Skype as a “proof of life” message from the kidnappers.

A former colleague who worked with the Briton for an aid organisation in Africa two years ago said: “A fellow he was abducted with was released a couple of months ago. We were hopeful that he would be released soon.” The Briton’s family gathered at his parents’ home in Scotland yesterday. His brother said any media inquiries should be put to the Foreign Office.

Despite speculation in the US that the British hostage may already be dead, there is evidence in the video in which he features to suggest he is still alive.

The Islamic State in Syria and Levant (Isil) video in which the American hostage Steven Sotloff was beheaded shows the same British terrorist that murdered the US journalist James Foley.

It is filmed in a similar location to the Foley video, which led to suggestions that they were murdered at the same time. But Mr Sotloff has much more facial hair in the second video, suggesting that the two films were shot at least a week apart, and “Jihadi John”, as the killer is nicknamed by hostages, refers to the US bombing of the Mosul Dam in Iraq, which happened about the time that the Foley video was released.

Mr Cameron refused to rule out air strikes against Isil targets, saying: “We must do what is in our national interest. We should do what we can to help those on the ground who want to build an Iraq for all Iraqis — Sunni, Shia and Kurds.”

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