Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HUNT FOR 'BRITISH ISIS EXECUTIONER' MOTHER OF VICTIM PLEADS FOR LIVES OF OTHER HOSTAGES; CAMERON RETURNS FROM HOLIDAY FOR EMERGENCY TALKS; US Won't Be Cowed or Bowed, Says Hammond

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

HUNT FOR 'BRITISH ISIS EXECUTIONER' MOTHER OF VICTIM PLEADS FOR LIVES OF OTHER HOSTAGES; CAMERON RETURNS FROM HOLIDAY FOR EMERGENCY TALKS; US Won't Be Cowed or Bowed, Says Hammond

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil, Martin Bentham and David Gardner

SECURITY chiefs in the UK and US today launched a hunt for the "British executioner" of American photo-journalist James Foley -- as his heartbroken mother pleaded with his killers to spare the lives of other hostages.

MI5, MI6 and the GCHQ spy centre were seeking to identify the Islamist fanatic, with an English accent, who apparently beheaded Mr Foley and posted a video online of the murder in revenge for US air strikes in Iraq.

British security experts were understood to be comparing the voice of the killer with that of former Guantanamo Bay prisoners and other British residents believed to have joined Islamic State, previously known as Isis.

David Cameron cut short a holiday in Cornwall and returned to London to chair emergency security meetings. Intelligence teams on both sides of the Atlantic were poring over the video to ascertain when and where it was filmed.

Mr Foley, 40, a freelance for the Boston-based Global Post, was abducted in Syria 22 months ago while covering the country's civil war.

His family's desperate hopes that he would one day be freed were shattered by the grisly video, released yesterday, apparently showing him being forced to kneel in the desert before being killed in an unspeakable act of savagery by the masked Islamic extremist, who is believed to have a London or southern accent.

A second orange-robed captive, believed to be American journalist Steven Sotloff who went missing in Syria a year ago, was then paraded in front of the video camera.

The killer, referring to US air strikes on IS positions in Iraq, said: "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision."

Mr Cameron responded to the news today by saying: "If true, the murder of James Foley is shocking and depraved. …

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