Wife of British hostage pleads for his release

An undated handout photo released by the Foreign Office with the permission of his family, showing Alan Henning at a refugee camp on the Syrian-Turkish border. (Courtesy: FCO)

The wife of Alan Henning, a British taxi driver held hostage and threatened of being beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, called upon his captors to free him, saying that his death would not add to any cause, Agence France-Presse reported.

Henning had volunteered to drive an aid convoy to Syria for a Muslim charity before he was captured 10 months ago by ISIS.
In a statement released through Britain's Foreign Office, Barbara Henning urged his captors to “see it in their hearts to release my husband”, given the circumstances in which he was in Syria.

The 47-year-old father of two teenage children was shown in the same video released a week ago that documented the gruesome murder of fellow Briton David Haines.

“Alan is a peaceful, selfless man who left his family and his job as a taxi driver in the UK to drive in a convoy all the way to Syria with his Muslim colleagues and friends to help those most in need,” his wife said.

“When he was taken he was driving an ambulance full of food and water to be handed out to anyone in need.

“His purpose for being there was no more and no less. This was an act of sheer compassion.

“I cannot see how it could assist any state's cause to allow the world to see a man like Alan dying.”

Barbara Henning said she had been trying to communicate with ISIS and had sent some “really important messages” but had received no response.

“I pray that the people holding Alan respond to my messages and contact me before it is too late,” she said.

“When they hear this message I implore the people of the Islamic State to see it in their hearts to release my husband Alan Henning.”

The taxi driver's family live in Manchester, northwest England. He joined a group of Muslim friends who founded the charity “Aid4Syria” and even had the name tattooed on his arm.

Conversion to Islam

Henning was reportedly planning to convert to Islam, the Sunday Times said.

“They used to give him dawah [preaching], including myself,” a friend of Henning’s is quoted as saying by the weekly.

“Alan by now believed in Allah, his messenger prophet Mohammad, and he no longer believed Jesus was God or the son of God,” the friend wrote in a blog post.

“Many of his mannerisms and behavior had started to conform to a Muslim lifestyle, such as giving up alcohol,” he explained adding that Henning did not proclaim the shahada [declaration of Islamic faith] as “a couple of things were holding him back.”

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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