Re: Tomislav Salopek - Captured by ISIS and Beheaded (supposely)
However it was well known that he was in the custody of the 'Sinai Province' jihadist organization. He has identified himself on camera, and identified his captors to this effect.
I could embark upon a rather long-winded analysis of the case, and my reasons to believe that the claims are true (that he has been murdered already), but I feel that Adam Dolnik, PhD, Professor of Counter Terrorism at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies has a more concise and accurate analysis of the situation than I could produce given my time limits.
He says among the cast of people that can be involved with hostages, IS (and it's affiliates) has no reason to lie.
"Various parties have a reason to lie if a hostage is being held.
"For example, intermediaries have a reason to lie. They could have sold on a hostage to someone else and are trying to get a payment despite not having them.
"But when it comes to IS they have little to gain by destroying their credibility this way."
He believes a combination of factors are considered before a government feels confident to confirm a death, including video evidence, information from intelligence agencies, the consideration of local rumours and announcements from IS itself.
"If there was any shadow of a doubt, a prime minister wouldn't declare it," he adds.
Also, initial frame-rate investigation suggests the released footage has not been tampered with, as do analyses of the file format consistency, though a deeper analysis is still ongoing, and will take weeks, if not months to produce conclusive and irrefutable evidence regarding the authenticity of these claims.
In short - IS or Sinai Province have no reason to lie about his death. This would be extremely counter productive, it would destroy their already fragile credibility and would cause Western Governments to react with less urgency in the face of future kidnapping cases. An urgent reaction is what the terrorists are desperately trying to cause within our governments.
And still there has been no further appearance from him since the decapitation photograph. It really does not look good for him.
I am more than 99% convinced he has already been murdered.
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