Newest ISIS Hostage Video: Not Like the Others

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ISIS published a new video of British journalist John Cantile (H/T @TheBryanSuits) in what appears to be the Syrian city of Kobani near the Turkish border. Cantile was well known as a left-leaning writer and had worked for print media outlets like the Sunday Telegraph and the Sun. The video, released October 27, has several differences from other ISIS hostage videos we have become accustomed to seeing. First, the captive is wearing western clothing rather than the orange jumpsuits worn by hostages James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning. Why is ISIS going to the trouble with all these orange jumpsuits? It is likely their way of flipping America the bird for Guantanamo Bay and its uniforms. GTMO detainees deemed “non-compliant” are issued orange jumpsuits. Those determined to be “compliant” are typically issued white.

Although there are earlier published videos of John Cantile in orange spouting off anti-western rhetoric, it is difficult to determine the order in which they were filmed – October 27 video included. Was the October 27 video filmed at a much earlier date? Apart from the fact that he appears to be healthier and more confident in the video, only someone familiar with the state of Kobani and its city structures during the time could make accurate assessment of when the video released on October 27 was filmed.

Second, is Cantile’s news anchor style of delivery. I cannot decide if he is using it because he actually believes what he or is saying or because it is actually a coping mechanism. Regardless, it is not at all like what we have seen from the other hostages.

Finally, this last one has the potential to be either very significant or mean nothing at all. Recall that other ISIS hostages had no facial hair during their captivity. This was also the same case in Cantile’s supposed earlier videos where he wears orange. Cantile however does have a beard in the October 27 video, but with no mustache. I have learned that many interesting things turn out to be coincidences. Still, some Islamic writings say it was the beard that Mohammed preferred. If this October 27 video is in fact the most recently filmed video of John Cantile, why the reason for these changes?