October 24, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: British aid worker Alan Henning beheaded by ISIS brute ‘Jihadi John’… who threatens to kill US war veteran next

‘I hope the scum get what’s coming to them’: Family of murdered British captive Alan Henning speak of fury at Jihadi John after receiving the news they ‘never wanted to hear’

  • Video claiming to show beheading of aid worker Alan Henning posted online
  • Militant appears to be Jihadi John, and has the same thick London accent
  • Mr Henning was kidnapped last year as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees 
  • Brother-in-law Colin Livesey describes the killers as ‘scum’ who should ‘get what’s coming to them’
  • It comes days after his wife Barbara issued tearful plea to terrorist group
  • David Cameron brands ISIS ‘repulsive’ saying killers will be hunted down 
  • Prime Minister meets with intelligence agencies at Chequers this morning
  • American war veteran Peter Kassig is threatened with execution next 
  • U.S President Barack Obama condemns Mr Henning’s ‘brutal murder’
  • Footage came hours after father of British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held by IS, appealed for his son’s release  
  • Downing Street reveals a second video was released showing British ISIL fighter unmasked delivering further message  

The devastated wife of murdered British hostage Alan Henning has this afternoon described how the family is ‘numb with grief’.

Barbara Henning described her husband as a ‘decent, caring human being’ while her brother described the aid worker’s killers as ‘scum’ who should ‘get what’s coming to them’.

Her comments come after video was posted online last night showing the 47-year-old being beheaded by ISIS fighter Jihadi John.

Before he is killed, a gaunt and tired looking Mr Henning gives a short forced speech in which he blames his execution on Parliament’s decision to launch strikes against Islamic State in Iraq.

Mr Henning, a father-of-two, was kidnapped on Boxing Day last year as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees.

British aid worker Alan Henning has been beheaded by Jihadi John in an ISIS video posted online 

British aid worker Alan Henning has been beheaded by Jihadi John in an ISIS video posted online

At the end of the footage American war veteran Peter Kassig is shown and threatened with the same fate

The clip, which is in English with Arabic subtitles, shows Jihadi John stepping forward to cut Mr Henning’s throat before the screen turns black, then shows his body lying on the desert floor.

This afternoon, his wife Barbara Henning issued a statement through the Foreign Office saying: ‘It is the news we hoped we would never hear.

‘As a family we are devastated by the news of his death. There are few words to describe how we feel at this moment. Myself, Lucy and Adam, and all of Alan’s family and friends are numb with grief.’

She went on to praise the people who had supported her throughout Mr Henning’s time in captivity – and those who campaigned for his release.

‘We always knew that Alan was in the most dangerous of situations but we hoped that he would return home to us. That is not to be.

‘Alan was a decent, caring human being. His interest was in the welfare of others. He will be remembered for this and we as a family are extremely proud of him and what he achieved and the people he helped.

‘We now need time to come to terms with our loss. We would therefore be grateful if our privacy could be respected at this time.’

Barbara Henning has said the family is 'numb with grief' after being told her husband had been killed

Barbara Henning has said the family is ‘numb with grief’ after being told her husband had been killed

Colin Livesey, pictured, described his brother-in-law Alan Henning's killers as 'scum', adding: 'I just hope and pray they get what's coming to them' 

Colin Livesey, pictured, described his brother-in-law Alan Henning’s killers as ‘scum’, adding: ‘I just hope and pray they get what’s coming to them’

PM: ‘Alan Henning’s murder was abhorrent, senseless and…

Earlier, her brother Colin Livesey described Mr Henning’s killers as ‘scum’ who should ‘get what’s coming to them’.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Livesey, who is the brother of Mr Henning’s wife Barbara, said: ‘My heart’s just sunk to a level that I never thought it could do.

‘I’m just devastated for my sister and two kids for what they’ve gone through, and it’s so hard.

‘We’re all just saddened knowing that we’ve lost a great person in our family.’

He described the aid worker’s killers as ‘scum’, adding: ‘I just hope and pray they get what’s coming to them.

‘I’ve just so much hatred for them.’

And he said the government could have done more for his brother-in-law while he was still in captivity, ‘when they knew about it, months and months ago’.

Before he is killed, Mr Henning says: ‘I am Alan Henning. Because of our parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic state I as a member of the British public will now pay the price for that decision.’


Alan Henning: ‘I am Alan Henning. Because of our parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic state I as a member of the British public will now pay the price for that decision.’

Jihadi John: ‘The blood of David Haines was on your hands Cameron, Alan Henning will also be slaughtered but his blood is on the hands of the British parliament.’

Jihadi John then steps forward to cut Mr Henning’s throat and his body is shown lying on the floor.

Peter Kassig is then shown kneeling next to Jihadi John. 

Jihadi John: ‘Obama you have started your aerial bombardment in Sham (Syria) which keeps on striking our people, so it’s only right we continue to strike the necks of your people.’

In a thick London accent, the fighter adds: ‘The blood of David Haines was on your hands Cameron, Alan Henning will also be slaughtered but his blood is on the hands of the British parliament.’

In the footage, Mr Henning appears visibly thinner than in previous pictures, and has large dark rims underneath his eyes.

After Mr Henning is killed, the black-clad militant reappears with Peter Kassig, who is shown kneeling in the same position as Mr Henning with a caption showing his name.

Jihadi John then adds: ‘Obama you have started your aerial bombardment in Sham (Syria) which keeps on striking our people, so it’s only right we continue to strike the necks of your people.’

There were hopes that Mr Henning could be freed after a sharia court set up by Islamic State to investigate claims he was a spy found him innocent.

The footage begins with an English-language news report broadcast on the night Parliament voted to approve airstrikes against Islamic State.

It then cuts to static and fades to black, before the note ‘Another message to America and its allies’ appears on the screen in English and Arabic.

This morning, Mr Cameron met with officials from the intelligence agencies, the military and the Foreign Office at his official country residence Chequers to discuss the killing.

Afterwards, a Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister had raised a second video showing a British ISIL fighter unmasked delivering a further message – and that police were investigating ‘urgently’ for ‘possible terrorism offences’ relating to it.

‘The PM was clear that we must keep doing all we can to ensure that these terrorists are found and brought to justice for their heinous crimes and we will keep working with our US partners and those in the region to do this.

‘ISIL’s brutality will not persuade us to change our approach.

‘Indeed, the senseless murder of an innocent man only reinforces our resolve to defeat this terrorist organisation and to eradicate the threat they pose to Britons – whether those in the region or here on the streets of the UK.

White House evaluating video of Alan Henning’s murder

Mr Henning was captured by the group on Boxing Day last year as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees

Mr Henning was captured by the group on Boxing Day last year as he delivered aid to Syrian refugees

‘At the meeting, the Prime Minister also raised a second video released last night which shows an apparent British ISIL fighter unmasked delivering a further message.

‘The police are urgently investigating the contents of the video, including possible terrorism offences relating to it.’

Later this morning, Mr Cameron called the slaying ‘completely unforgivable’ adding that there was ‘no level of depravity to which they will not sink’.

‘No appeals made any difference,”Mr Cameron told Sky News.

‘The murder of Alan Henning is absolutely abhorrent, it is senseless, it is completely unforgivable. Anyone in any doubt about this organisation can now see how truly repulsive it is, and barbaric it is,’ he said of IS.

When asked whether he believed the extremists would kill more of their Western hostages, Cameron suggested the only way to stop them was through military action.

‘The fact that this was a kind, gentle, compassionate and caring man who had simply gone to help others, the fact they could murder him in the way they did, shows what we are dealing with,’ he said.

‘This is going to be our struggle now. … We must do everything we can to defeat this organisation. We must take action against it. We must find those responsible.’

The beheading, which has not yet been confirmed by the Foreign Office, comes just three days after Mr Henning’s wife Barbara issued a tearful plea to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).


The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley on August 19 marked the first in a string of grisly killings by the Islamic State fighter who has since become known as Jihadi John.

The video, entitled ‘A Message to America’, showed Mr Foley kneeling on the ground in the desert, which was subsequently identified as Raqqa, Syria. 

Mr Foley went missing on Thanksgiving in 2012 while working for the GlobalPost news agency.

James Foley (left) was the first to be beheaded, followed two weeks later by Steven Sotloff (right)

He was captured by the Jabhat al Nusra terror group near Taftanaz, in northern Syria. 

The U.S. government since revealed that it had attempted to rescue Foley, along with several other captives, but found that had been moved at the last moment.

Steven Sotloff, another American journalist who had been working in Syria, was the second victim to be beheaded on September 2 in video entitled ‘A Second Message to America’.

At the time, Jihadi John was recorded as saying: ‘I’m back, Obama, and I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State.’ 

Mr Sotloff, the grandson of Holocaust survivors from Miami, freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines, and vanished in Syria in August 2013.

David Haines, a father-of-two, was the first British victim to be beheaded on September 13

He was not seen again until he appeared in a video released online last month that showed Foley’s beheading.

David Haines, who was beheaded a week after Mr Sotloff, was the first British victim of Jihadi John. The 44-year-old has a teenage daughter in Scotland and a four-year-old daughter in Croatia.

Mr Haines was taken hostage while working for relief agency ACTED in Syria in March this year. He was captured near the Atmeh refugee camp, just inside the Syrian border with Turkey.

She said: ‘I ask Islamic State please release him, we need him back home.

‘Muslims across the globe continue to question Islamic State over Alan’s fate.

‘Their position regarding his situation is unequivocal. He is innocent … We are at a loss why those leading Islamic State cannot open their hearts and minds to the truth about Alan’s humanitarian motives for going to Syria and why they continue to ignore the verdict of their own justice system [not guilty of spying].

‘Surely those who wish to be seen as a state will act in a statesmanlike way by showing mercy and providing clemency.’

The Foreign Office last night said they were looking into reports that Mr Henning had been killed.

David Cameron had said earler: ‘The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are.

‘My thoughts and prayers tonight are with Alan’s wife Barbara, their children and all those who loved him.

‘Alan had gone to Syria to help get aid to people of all faiths in their hour of need. The fact that he was taken hostage when trying to help others and now murdered demonstrates that there are no limits to the depravity of these ISIL terrorists.

‘We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.’

In a statement, the Foreign Office said: ‘If true, this is a further disgusting murder. We are offering the family every support possible; they ask to be left alone at this time.’

This morning the nephew of Alan Henning posted an emotional tribute on Twitter to his ‘hero’ uncle.

Stuart Henning wrote ‘RIP uncle Alan you are and will always be my hero love you’ as news of the killing emerged last night.

The release of the footage came just hours after the father of British journalist John Cantlie (pictured), who is being held by IS, appealed for his son's release

Today, friends, neighbours and former colleagues of the 47-year-old reacted to news of his death with a mixture of shock, disbelief and anger.

Many gathered outside the house where he lived in Salford, Greater Manchester, to light candles and comfort each other.

The release of the footage came just hours after the father of British journalist John Cantlie, who is being held by IS, appealed for his son’s release.

Paul Cantlie said in a video from his hospital bed: ‘To those holding John: please know that he is a good man.

‘He sought only to help the Syrian people and I ask you from all that is sacred to help us to allow him to return safely to those he loves and those who love him.’

The White House said it is aware of the video and is evaluating it, a U.S. official said. If proved real, it is ‘another demonstration of the brutality’ of Islamic State militants, a spokesman said.

Barack Obama said the United States strongly condemned Henning’s ‘brutal murder.’

He said the U.S., along with Britain and other allies, will ‘work to bring the perpetrators of Alan’s murder’ to justice and will continue ‘taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy’ the Islamic State group.

The Kassig family released a statement saying: ‘The Kassig family extends our concern for the family of Alan Henning.

‘We have read about his work and his generous character with great respect and admiration.

‘We ask everyone around the world to pray for the Henning family, for our son, and for the release of all innocent people being held hostage in the Middle East and around the globe.’

World leaders unite to condemn killing of aid worker Henning

Muslim leaders had appealed to ISIS over the threat to kill Mr Henning, who was working for an Islamic aid organisation, saying it went against the religion

Butler University also released a statement saying: ‘Peter Kassig was a student at Butler University from 2010 to 2012, majoring in political science.

‘Since his time at Butler, Peter has dedicated his life to humanitarian work in the Middle East. The thoughts and prayers of the Butler University community are with Peter and his family.’

Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly said: ‘This is an unimaginably devastating situation for any parent to endure. My prayers are with Peter’s parents at this terrible time.

‘My family, like everyone in Indiana and across our country, is praying for and thinking of Peter and his family.

‘I ask for respect of the Kassig family’s privacy as they seek to navigate this heartbreaking situation. I ask all Hoosiers to continue to keep Peter in their thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.’

The Islamist terror organisation also published a video message from an injured British fighter, challenging David Cameron to send ground troops to Iraq.

In a rant directed at ‘that despicable swine David Cameron’, the unmasked jihadi – former Morrissons worker Omar Hussain – said: ‘Send them all, send your reserves and your backup and we’ll send them back one by one in coffins.’

Although the RAF has started bombing targets in Iraq, the Prime Minister has ruled out sending ground troops.

Dubbed the ‘supermarket jihadi’, the 27-year-old, from High Wycombe previously worked for the chain as a security guard. He lived with his mother and brothers before travelling to Syria in January 2014.


The Iraq war veteran, who was living in Beirut to provide relief for refugees of the Syrian crisis, is believed to be the latest American to be taken hostage by ISIS.

Writing on his profile page on fundraising website FundRazr, Mr Kassig said he had previously worked as a medic in a hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon.

He said: ‘When I first started this cause to help those in need, I was on my own but I saw first-hand the shortages in available resources and supplies for people who were suffering in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey as a result of the violence. 

‘The amount of feedback and support from people all around the world motivated me to get organised and develop a platform through which people could send donations to support the continuation of my work.’

Kassig joined the U.S. Army Rangers in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.

He was honourably discharged for medical reasons after a brief tour and returned to the United States to study political science.

However, in 2010, he decided to take time off from his studies and began his certification as an emergency medical technician.

He then decided to travel to Beirut to try and help those in need as a result of the Syria crisis.

It was after a short time in the country that he started up his own aid group, SERA.

Few details are publicly known about how Kassig was taken captive and the US State Department had not commented last night. 

It was reported that the chilling message also calls on all British Muslims to ‘rise up’ in their own country if they cannot join the fight in Iraq and Syria.

The British fighter asked: ‘What does the West have to offer you? What does that filthy despicable country have to offer you?’

The video mirrors other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos.

Muslim groups across Britain united in condemning the beheading of aid worker Alan Henning by Islamic State insurgents, with one leading cleric calling it a ‘despicable and offensive act’.

Prayers for the 47-year-old taxi driver from Salford in northern England were said in mosques throughout the country at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival.

Henning had been held captive in Syria for nine months before a video was posted on YouTube on Friday showing him kneeling before a masked knifeman against a desert setting.

Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted: ‘Saddened by reported murder of Alan Henning. A despicable and offensive act. He helped Muslims. My thoughts and prayers with his family.’

A group calling itself Muslims of the North of England called Henning a ‘national hero’ while Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation that aims to help young Muslims, said: ‘This barbaric killing is an attack against all decent people around the world.’

Imam Asim Hussain from Manchester Central Mosque called the killers an ‘insult to the Islamic faith’.


British Imams and Muslim faith leaders have expressed their outrage at the ‘senseless’ murder of taxi driver Alan Henning by ‘barbarian’ terrorists.

Leading British Muslim leaders called for special remembrance prayers to take place this weekend in Mr Henning’s honour.

Shaukat Warraich, editor of Imamsonline.com and chief executive of Faith Associates, said: ‘The Muslim community is devastated at the news that the humanitarian worker has been murdered by these barbarians.

‘He was a friend of the Muslim community, Syrian and Iraqi people. His senseless murder proves that ISIS is beyond the pale and doesn’t listen to reason.

‘The fact that they have chosen to do this at the time of Eid as millions of Muslims are joining together in prayer as a celebration of unity only goes to show their complete evil and barbarity.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alan Henning at this most difficult time.’

Faith Associates works with some of the 1,700 mosques across the country and was recently behind an open letter signed by more than 100 Imams condemning ISIS and urging British Muslims not to travel to Syria.

Shaukat Warraich (pictured), editor of Imamsonline.com and chief executive of Faith Associates, said the Muslim community was 'devastated' at news Alan Henning had been killed 

They are now urging Imams to use sermons during Eid prayers to ask their congregations to make a special prayer for the family of Alan Henning.

Muslim faith leaders across Britain have also expressed their outrage at the murder in a video released yesterday.

In a series of hard-hitting and emotional statements, the short video features five leading Muslim voices expressing their horror and condemning ISIS.

Speaking in the 1:46mins video, Imam Ghulam Rasool, Principle of Birmingham’s Sultan Bahu Trust, says: ‘Regarding this unfortunate, despicable video released by ISIS which brutally, callously and cold-heartedly murders an innocent humanitarian aid worker – just for public show, just for them to express their power – it’s a complete abomination.

‘It’s condemned unreservedly by the British Muslim community and rightly so. This act is a criminal act and a gross act of terrorism and evil.’

Ustadh Ashfaq Sadiq, Secretary of the Barking Masjid, added: ‘The majority of Muslims are peace-loving people. This minority appear to have grabbed and hijacked the religion, for their own ends.

‘You’re not doing this in my name, you’re not doing it in the name of my Islam. Your Islam I don’t recognize. It’s not Islam, I don’t recognize you as a Muslim.’

Denouncing the murder, Zafar Iqbal, Chairman of Wycombe Islamic Mission, said: ‘We don’t believe that a Muslim can do this sort of evil act. We condemn that, we always condemn this sort of activity. This is not Islamic.’

Jama Egal, Manager of the Quba Centre in Leicester, added: ‘They’re completely wrong. They don’t know the meaning of the Quran, they don’t know the way of the Quran.’

And Dr Musharraf Hussain, Imam of Masjir As-Shifa in Nottingham, said: ‘This group of course is a criminal group.

‘A gang which has no space, no place in the Muslim community. Neither does the British Muslim community have any kind of sympathy for such evil acts and brutal activities ISIS.’