Murder of British air worker: Cameron vows to ‘hunt down’ Islamic ‘monsters’
LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed that
Britain will ‘hunt down” those responsible for the murder of British aid worker
David Haines and bring them to justice.
Speaking from Downing Street after chairing a meeting
of Cobra, Cameron described Islamic State extremists as ‘monsters’ who are part
of a ‘fanatical organisation.’ “We will hunt down those responsible and bring
them to justice, no matter how long it takes,” Cameron said.
“David Haines was an aid worker. He went into harm’s
way, not to harm people but to help his fellow human beings in the hour of
their direst need, from the Balkans to the Middle East. “David Haines was a
British hero. The fact that an aid worker was taken, held and brutally murdered
at the hand of Islamic State sums up what this organisation stands for.
“They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this
in the name of Islam. That is nonsense - Islam is a religion of peace.”
Earlier in the day Cameron held emergency talks with
senior representatives of the military, the security services, the Foreign
Office and the Home Office. He returned to Downing Street shortly after
midnight when IS released a video which showed Haines’ death.
Government sources say the death will not change
Britain’s policy and Parliament will not be recalled. But Cameron said Britain’s
security depends upon taking action against the extremists.
“It must strengthen our resolve. We must recognise
that it will take time to eradicate a threat like this. It will require, as I
have described, action at home and abroad,” he said. “This is not something we
can do on our own. We have to work with the rest of the world.
“Ultimately, our security as a nation, the way we go
about our everyday lives in this free and tolerant society that is Britain, has
always depended on our readiness to act against those who stand for hatred and
who stand for destruction.”
The footage of Haines’ death shows a knife-wielding
militant who speaks with a British accent. The clip also includes a threat to
kill a second hostage, later named as Alan Henning , who was a volunteer on an
In the video, Haines looks into the camera and makes a
statement, holding Mr Cameron responsible for his own ‘execution’.
In the statement, which appears to have been made
under duress, he said, “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the
United States against the Islamic State just as your predecessor Tony Blair
did, following a trend against our British prime ministers who can’t find the
courage to say ‘no’ to the Americans.
“Unfortunately it is we the British public that in the
end will pay the price for our Parliament’s selfish decisions.” A Foreign
Office spokesperson said, “All the signs are that the video is genuine. We have
no reason to believe it is not.”