David Cameron has dismissed as "desperate stuff" an Islamic State execution video featuring a man and a young boy with British accents, one of whom mocks the prime minister and Britain's airstrikes in Syria.
The video appears to show the killing of five men from the Syrian city of Raqqa, whom Islamic State – also known as Isis – claims were spying for Britain. It features a masked figure, dressed in military fatigues, who resembles Mohamed Emwazi, the Isis figure from Britain known as Jihadi John, who appeared in a number of execution videos before he was killed by a US drone strike last November.
British intelligence officials are seeking to identify the masked man, who speaks with a southern English accent, as well as a boy aged about five, who also speaks English in the video. The man threatens to take the Isis fight to Britain, and the boy, who is also dressed in military camouflage gear, points into the distance as he says: "We are going to go kill the kaffir [non-believers] over there."
Mr Cameron, who said he had seen part of the video, said Britain would not be cowed by Isis, which he described as a despicable organisation that was now in retreat.
“This is an organisation that’s losing territory, it’s losing ground, it’s, I think, increasingly losing anybody’s sympathy, and this again shows what an appalling organisation we’re up against.
Organisation of hate
“They hate us not for what we do but for what we are – the fact that we are a successful, tolerant, democratic, multifaith, multiethnic nation. They hate that and that’s why they want to take us on and that’s why they do what they do.”
The video shows five kneeling men in orange jumpsuits delivering forced confessions that they accepted money to film and photograph sites in Raqqa, which is controlled by Islamic State.
Five military-clad figures stand behind them, carrying pistols. The British-accented militant points his gun towards the camera as he addresses Mr Cameron directly, pouring scorn on the prime minister’s decision last month to extend British airstrikes against Isis into Syria.
“How strange it is that a leader of a small island threatens us with a handful of planes. One would have thought you would have learned the lessons of your pathetic master in Washington and his failed campaign against the Islamic State,” he says.
‘Imbecile’ of war
“But it seems you, just like your predecessors Blair and Brown, are just as arrogant and foolish. In fact, David, you are more of an imbecile. Only an imbecile would dare to wage war against a land where the law of Allah reigns supreme and where the people live under the justice and security of the sharia. Only an imbecile would dare to anger a people who love death the way you love your life.”
Later in the 10-minute video, the masked man says Isis will invade Britain and rule the country under sharia law. "As for those of you who wish to continue fighting under the banner of Cameron, on the minimum wage, we say to you, to ask yourself, do you really think your government will care about you when you come into our hands? Or will they abandon you, as they have abandoned these spies and those who came before them? Because you will lose this war, as you lost in Iraq and Afghanistan, " he says.
Some British news organisations have identified the child as the son of a Nigerian-born convert to Islam who left Britain for Syria to marry a Swedish jihadi.
Police say that at least 700 people from Britain have travelled to support or fight for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, although about half of them have since returned.