Forty-four-year-old British humanitarian worker David Haines is in the hands of the Islamic State jihadis, awaiting his execution along with an Italian aid worker. Both were likely captured while they were volunteering their time helping with the humanitarian crisis in the northern part of Syria, near its Atmeh refugee camp.
After American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff was beheaded at the hands of the barbaric militants, the jihadis brought Haines front and center and threatened he would meet the same fate should the United States continue its aerial campaign in Iraq. Haines was dressed in the same prison-like orange jumpsuit that was worn by Americans Sotloff and James Foley before their executions.
In what The Guardian called a “distinctive London accent,” Haines’s potential butcher said, “We take this opportunity to warn those governments who have entered this evil alliance with America against the Islamic State to back off, and leave our people alone.”
Shortly thereafter, the British government engaged in a failed effort to censor Haines’ identity. However, publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post had already printed his name in their papers.
The Independent reported that a former Haines colleague said, “I was helping him rebuild the community. We were rebuilding houses, restarting schools that had been destroyed in the fighting.” He continued:
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. … 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.
Haines was born in East Yorkshire and then moved to Perth, Scotland. His daughter, inspired by her father, had dreams of also becoming an aid worker. She said last year, “I miss my dad. I would do anything to have him home. … This sounds really cheesy, but I think my dad’s a hero.”
Separately, a North London woman was reportedly beheaded Thursday in broad daylight by a man wielding a machete.