Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity and was released in April
James Foley was beaten more than any other hostage because he was an American and ISIS knew his brother was in the U.S. Air Force, a fellow prisoner said today.
French journalist Nicolas Henin spent seven months in captivity with the murdered journalist in Syria, including a week handcuffed together.
Mr Henin, who was released in April this year, believes Foley was always seen as āsome kind of scapegoatā by his captors, who were led by his British killer āJohnā ā ringleader of a gang of British jihadis known as āThe Beatlesā guarding western hostages for ISIS.
āBeing an American he was probably more targeted by the kidnappers. Well, he would be beaten a bit more probably, he was some kind of scapegoat. And The kidnappers knew that his brother was in the U.S. Air Forceā.
He added: āHe became the whipping-boy of the jailers but remained unperturbedā.
Speaking about the conditions they were kept in together he said: āāThe conditions were often quite basic and were sometimes quite difficult.
āWe were in extremely narrow rooms and were taken to the bathroom two to three times a day. For emergencies were had a few bottles and a bucket in the cornerā.
Mr Henin paid tribute to his former colleague and friend, saying he had been generous with other captives if they were cold or hungry.
He said he was horrified by Mr Foleyās killing, but added that he will focus on positive memories from their time together.
āI will try to just remember few, very few opportunities we had to laugh loud together - and it did happen actually a couple of times,ā he said.
When asked why he was released but Mr Foley was not he said: āSome countries like America but also like the UK do not negotiate and, well, they put their people at risk.ā
Said to be a senior Islamic State operative, he was trusted earlier this year to negotiate a hostage exchange.
Yesterday, further evidence emerged of the prominent role British jihadis are playing in Iraq.
Some celebrated and joked about Mr Foleyās murder, with one woman fighter volunteering to be the next to kill a UK or US captive.
Experts warned Britons are among the most vicious of the Islamic Stateās fanatics and one may have been chosen to carry out the killing because of the global impact it would have. In other developments:
- The Foreign Secretary again warned British jihadis could return to kill here;
- Military chiefs warned of more killings and called for Government action;
- Barack Obama said āno just God would stand for what the Islamic State didā;
- Muslim leaders were accused of failing to sufficiently condemn the terror group;
- Mr Cameron admitted it was increasingly likely Mr Foley was killed by a Briton.
The security services are using advanced voice recognition techniques to try to identify the murderer seen in the five-minute IS video, which has been viewed by thousands of people online.
The Briton, who uses his left hand and wears Timberland boots, speaks with what appears to be an East London accent as he makes a series of threats to President Obama and the West.
Yesterday, a man who was held in the Syrian city of Raqqa claimed the fanatic is intelligent, educated and a follower of radical Islamic teachings.
He said international hostages called āJohnā and his fellow Britons The Beatles because they were from the UK.
Anti-terror investigators are now seeking to establish that the voice in the video is that of the man brandishing the knife before Mr Foley, rather than a voiceover.