The brother of the latest ISIS hostage to be murdered has called on the British government to send in ground forces to defeat his killers. Reg Henning said that he had been through a “living a nightmare” but had been unable to speak publicly having been “gagged for nine months” by the government.
Reg’s brother Alan had been an aid worker in Syria prior to his kidnapping on December 26 last year. A video emerged on Friday of him being beheaded by hand in a gruesome murder. His killer is widely believed to be British and has been nicknamed Jihad John, and is thought to be part of a group of terrorists known as The Beatles.
Mr Henning told the BBC that the “barbaric” ISIS fighters could not be defeated by air and ground forces would be needed. He said: “You’re not going to find them by dropping a few bombs in Iraq… We need send ground forces in to find out where these monsters are – the sooner we do it the sooner the killing stops.”
He was also critical about the government’s response to his brother’s kidnapping. “It’s been a living nightmare.” He said, adding: “We’ve had to keep it quiet for nine months, we’ve been gagged by the Government and the Foreign Office not to say a thing. For the last three weeks I’ve hardly slept, I’ve felt sick, physically sick.
“We were told not to discuss it, virtually we were gagged for nine months, couldn’t say a thing to anybody. It was just done on a need to know basis which, basically, was immediate family.”
When he was asked about how the whole situation with his brother had made him feel he said: “I think it’s disgusting because, if we had been able to talk, and voice our opinions, I think the Government may have stood up and listened more… We’ve seen the campaign that Alan’s generated now, all the ribbons round Eccles and everything. If this was done six months ago it could have done more good.”
Henning did support the government’s policy of not paying ransoms for hostages, even though it’s alleged some of those held with his brother were freed because governments paid for them. He said: “By giving them more money you are giving them the opportunity to purchase more arms and weapons and that would just increase the problem because they would be in the position to snatch more hostages”.
Mr Henning’s comments come shortly after it emerged that drones have located both Jihad John and his hostages but Special Forces believe it is impossible to get to him because of his well secured his location is.