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Video: British Hostage Kenneth Bigley Beheaded

British Hostage Beheaded in Iraq, Insurgents Say (Reuters)

Photo of British hostage Ken Bigley, believed to have been beheaded today. (Reuters)
British hostage Ken Bigley was beheaded near Baghdad on Thursday afternoon, insurgent sources in the rebel-held town of Falluja said on Friday. Abu Dhabi Television, quoting “informed” sources in Iraq, had said earlier that the militant group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had killed Bigley. Britain’s Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports. “We cannot corroborate the reports … We are in close touch with Mr. Bigley’s family at this difficult time,” a Foreign Office spokesman told Reuters in London. The insurgent sources said Bigley was killed in the town of Latifiya, about 35 km (22 miles) southwest of the Iraqi capital. They declined to say how they had got their information. Britain’s Sky TV, quoting British government sources, also said Bigley had been killed.

The 62-year-old engineer was kidnapped in Baghdad on Sept. 16 by the Tawhid and Jihad Group which has beheaded two American hostages who were seized along with the Briton. Militants have launched a spate of kidnappings as part of attempts to undermine the U.S.-led coalition ahead of January elections.

“We have learned from informed sources in the Iraqi capital that the kidnappers of Kenneth Bigley have killed him,” an Abu Dhabi newscaster said.

British hostage killed, says report (Straights Times, India)

British hostage Kenneth Bigley has been killed by his captors in Iraq, Abu Dhabi television reported on Friday. The British Foreign Office said it could not confirm the report. An editor at Abu Dhabi TV in the United Arab Emirates said the report was based on ‘informed sources’ in Baghdad. He refused to say whether the station had received a video tape of the killing. The broadcast did not say when Mr Bigley was supposed to have been killed. There have been false claims about hostages in Iraq being killed in the past, notably those involving two Italian women who were released last week. In London, a British Foreign Office spokesman said he had no information that would confirm the report. ‘We’re aware of the reports but can give no further information,’ a spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office in Downing Street said.

Mr Bigley, 62, was abducted on Sept 16 with two Americans from their residence in an upscale Baghdad neighbourhood by the militant Tawhid and Jihad group, led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. The Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, were decapitated. Graphic videos of their slayings were posted on the Internet, along with videotapes of Mr Bigley pleading with Prime Minister Tony Blair to save him.


U.K. Seeking to Corroborate Reports of Hostage Bigley’s Death
(Bloomberg)

U.K. government officials said they were seeking to corroborate reports by Abu Dhabi television that British hostage Kenneth Bigley has been killed. “We’re urgently trying to corroborate reports that Kenneth Bigley has been killed but have not done so yet,” said a Foreign Office spokesman who asked not to be identified. “We’re in close contact with his family at this difficult time.’

British captive in Iraq reported killed (Aljazeera)

Photo of British hostage Ken Bigley, believed to have been beheaded today. (Aljazeera)British hostage Ken Bigley was beheaded near Baghdad on Thursday afternoon, Reuters quoting sources in Falluja has said. The sources said on Friday that Bigley had been killed in the town of Latifiya, southwest of the Iraqi capital.

Bigley was seized in Baghdad 22 days ago.

Earlier, Sky News television reported his death quoting sources in Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office after Abu Dhabi television broke the news.

Let’s hope this is just a cruel hoax. One suspects it’s not, however.

Update (1038): Video Shows British Hostage Being Beheaded in Iraq (Reuters)

A video released by Muslim militants on Friday showed them beheading British hostage Kenneth Bigley, a Reuters witness said. Bigley was shown making a statement as six militants stood behind him, before one cut his head off with a knife. Guerrilla sources in the rebel-held city of Falluja said earlier that he was killed on Thursday afternoon in Latifiya, a Sunni Muslim town southwest of Baghdad. The tape showed Bigley wearing an orange jump suit of the type worn by detainees in U.S. prisons including the detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Others blogging:

John Little
Jeff Quinton
Rusty Shackleford

Update (1431): Blair says hostage takers must not win (Reuters)

Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his “utter revulsion” over the beheading of Kenneth Bigley in Iraq and said those who resorted to hostage-taking around the world must not be allowed to win. “I feel utter revulsion at the people who did this, not just at the barbaric nature of the killing but the way frankly they played with the situation over the past few weeks,” Blair told reporters on Friday. “I feel a strong sense, as I hope others do, that the actions of these people whether in Iraq or elsewhere should not prevail over people like Ken Bigley.”

Indeed.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Report: Bigley Killed (beheaded or during escape attempt?)
    Digger has initial reports of hostage Kenneth Bigley’s death (which say he was reportedly beheaded.) However, The cable news networks (Fox and MSNBC) were where I first heard this story and (a clarification) Jim Miklaszewski of NBC News at the…

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  2. Blogs of War says:

    ritish Hostage Kenneth Bigley Reportedly Attempted Escape, Beheaded
    British hostage Ken Bigley was beheaded near Baghdad on Thursday afternoon, insurgent sources in the rebel-held town of Falluja said on Friday.

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  3. Hostage Kenneth Bigley Beheaded By Terrorists [Update 6]
    Fox News and Al Jazeera are breaking news that hostage Kenneth Bigley has been killed by his terrorist captors. Kenneth Bigley was taken Hostage with two Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, on September 16th, 2004. The terrorist group…

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  4. Kenneth Bigley Beheaded
    As of now the video has not been relaesed and information regarding this terrorist act is a bit sketchy at the moment. Updates to follow.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Kenneth Bigley Beheaded Video
    Video Shows British Hostage Being Beheaded in Iraq (Reuters) A video released by Muslim militants on Friday showed them beheading British hostage Kenneth Bigley, a Reuters witness said. Bigley was shown making a statement as six militants stood behind …

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  6. ISOU says:

    Ken Bigley Dead?
    Digger is reporting several news reports are reporting Ken Bigley beheaded. If they are going to kill this man regardless of what so called negotiations are going on, maybe this story is a good thing. This man has suffered for…

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  7. Kenneth Bigley Beheaded in Iraq
    Kenneth Bigley beheading video and images, news about Kenneth Bigley’s execution, world reaction, and opinion on the Kenneth Bigley murder.

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  8. Bigley Beheaded By Tawid and Jihad Terrorists
    Obviously, there’s a lot of interest in the Ken Bigley story. Unfortunately, from all indications, there is no happy ending. Condolences to his family.

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  9. Hostage Kenneth Bigley Beheaded By Terrorists
    Fox News and Al Jazeera are breaking news that hostage Kenneth Bigley has been killed by his terrorist captors. Kenneth Bigley was taken Hostage with two Americans, Eugene Armstrong and Jack Hensley, on September 16th, 2004. The terrorist group…

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  10. kelly says:

    i think what happened to ken is sick, i really feel for his family and i think tony blair could of done more to help him…..put a member of tony’s family in iraq….would he do something then????

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  11. Sortapundit says:

    Bigley Beheaded After MI6 Rescue Backfired
    I’ve not taken much of an interest in the Ken Bigley story, since as soon as he was captured he was as good as dead. Considering the track record of previous hostages we might as well have had Bigley’s funeral service weeks ago.

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  12. all fuking kill they wee iraqy bastarts for being so gay and sick

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  13. Blogs of War says:

    Video Shows British Hostage Kenneth Bigley Beheading, Reportedly Attempted Escape

    Al Jazeera is breaking the sad news. Reuters has more:
    British hostage Ken

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