BRITISH war photographer and ISIS hostage John Cantlie is alive – despite being held captive in Syria for seven years, according to the UK’s security minister.
Ben Wallace today told journalists that Cantlie is believed to still be a prisoner of the terror group in the so-called caliphate.
The 48-year-old was captured by ISIS while reporting in Syria in 2012.
Since then he has used to front English-language videos and propaganda.
He was last seen alive since a video – recorded in the early stages of the battle for Mosul – was released in 2016.
At the Home Office briefing, Wallace told the Huffington Post the UK does not negotiate with terrorists and discourages other countries from doing so.
Asked if the belief is Cantlie is still alive, Wallace said yes, but would not elaborate or say whether Cantlie is believed to be in the area ISIS still holds.
He added that the UK does not pay ransom and discourages other countries from doing so.
Wallace named Cantlie as the most public and prominent British hostage, and when asked directly if the belief is Cantlie is still alive, he said yes, but would not elaborate or say whether Cantlie is believed to be in the area ISIS still holds.
Photojournalist Cantlie was captured by militants in northern Syria before being sold to ISIS.
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Captured along with American journalist James Foley, Cantlie is understood to have undergone horrific beatings and torture during his years with ISIS.
His sister Jessica previously appealed for “direct contact” with the militants holding him.
In 2014, his 80-year-old father Paul issued a video appeal from his hospital bed for his son’s release. He died from complications following pneumonia shortly afterwards.