Home War/ Terror The Strange Journey of Freelance Journalist John Cantlie And His ISIS ‘Travel’...

The Strange Journey of Freelance Journalist John Cantlie And His ISIS ‘Travel’ Series


John Cantlie’s ISIS propaganda ‘travel’ video through the bustling city of Mosul emerged on the 3rd of January this year (above). John Cantlie was in line to be beheaded – and now the freelance journalist is ‘freelancing‘ for ISIS in slick and professionally produced ‘travel’ videos. But we have no idea for how long.  He says the Aleppo episode is the ‘last’ in the series. (And that could be a worry for the ‘hostage’)

So who the hell is orchestrating all this? 

Normality vs Chaos

The schizophrenic nature of the ‘ISIS brand’. 

1. NORMALITY at home. In the Cantlie videos, obviously endorsed by powers in the group, normality is portrayed. The Arab world (under ISIS) is just going about its Sharia business, then

2. CREATING TERROR. In the other stomach churning – pilot burning – calling for infidel blood videos – the insanity of ISIS is portrayed. Presumably this is intended to create fear (in the West) and encourage fanatic recruitment. But it also incites attacks upon themselves. One wonders why they would do that!

These videos are definitely produced by TWO DIFFERENT media departments – with opposing agendas.

This ‘travel’ series has had very little MSM coverage, but what is extraordinary is Cantlie’s casual manner – even playfully riding a Police motorbike (at 7:12). It is like watching one of Michael Palin’s travel documentaries. He was captured with James Foley who was allegedly beheaded in a (fake) video, but was most likely killed later anyway (see previous post here). But Cantlie managed to prove himself an asset and is still alive. Give this guy a BAFTA for his enthusiastic performance – even if he might be suffering Stockholm syndrome. (His sister says that he is a very principled man)

Who are John Cantlie’s Friends?


CANTLEY5John Cantlie on an African adventure in 2008 with Prince William and Prince Harry.

cantlie fowleyPhoto-journalists in action – John Cantlie (L) and James Foley.

Previous Abductions

Both men had previously been kidnapped before.

Cantlie was reportedly kidnapped crossing into Syria on 19 July 2012, with Dutch photographer Jeroen Oerlemans. Cantlie was shot when they were rescued by the Free Syrian Army.

Foley had been captured (by pro-Gaddafi forces) on 5 April 2011 with other reporters. Photojournalist Anton Hammerl was killed and Foley was released 44 days later.

Fellow Friend and Hostage

November 2012 – Cantlie and Foley were good friends and had been on a daring three-week reporting trip into war-ravaged Syria. As they heading towards safety and the Turkish border, a Hyundai mini-van pulled their taxi over. Islamists ordered the two journalists out of the car.

cantlie fowley2Hostages – John Cantlie (L) and James Foley.

The journalists were held hostage and reported to have suffered waterboarding, electric shocks, were tasered and forced to fight other prisoners to entertain IS fanatics.

Cantlie’s survival instinct must have kicked into high gear. He has managed to stay alive by being an asset – and started appearing in a videos series called ‘Lend Me Your Ears‘.

cantlie2Cantlie reporting for ISIS. 

(And now, in Australia, we have to deal with the new terrorists – the Granny Flat Lone Wolves.  I wonder if those Granny flat jihardists had seen Cantlie’s videos.)

But, we too are constantly bombarded by normality and chaos on our television screens. We are/were subjected to sterile military footage showing missiles hitting their (Saddam/Taliban/al Qaeda/Gadaffi/ISIS) target – then switching back to American Idol or Dancing With The Stars.

Our societies accept and portray war and murder as ‘normal’.  This is the insanity of our world.  And we should just not accept it. All of it.



  1. Dalia, I don’t quite get it. Who is Cantlie? And if he was vetted sufficiently to be looking after the future king, on African ‘adventure,’ why is he now allowed to barrack for the ISIS?
    By the way, re line of succession, when Charles was seeking permission to marry Camilla, there was talk of a morganatic marriage. It’s possible that if he acceded to the throne now he would then abdicate in favor of William. (I am not saying he will do so; this is a thought experiment.) If so, shouldn’t the crown go to Queen Elizabeth’s next son, Andrew?
    Granted, there was legislation a few years ago to repeal the primogeniture (sex discrimination) rule, but it did not work retrospectively to accommodate Anne. (Andrew, born 1960, was the first of Her Majesty’s “series B” offspring.)
    Come to think of it, the Abdication Act of 1936, related to Edward VIII’s marriage to Wallis Simpson, was special legislation. So, although it specifically deprived his issue of any claim to the throne, that wouldn’t hold for any later case, I guess. Still it is a bit of a puzzle. Hmm, I wonder, had Edward VIII been already the father of a kid in 1936, could Parliament have deprived the kid of his rights?
    Not that it’s exactly a right. Recall my Gumshoe article on the Coronation (Jan 15, 2015, “God Save the Queen!”)? To save space, I omitted a prefatory act in which the queen was presented to the N, S, E, and W of the cathedral so the people could “recognize” her. I believe they had the right to not-recognize her if they did not want her to become the monarch.

    • “Who is Cantlie?”. He was one of many thousands of journalists that rush about reporting back from wars, turmoil and the like. I suspect that he is an adventurous type – like Foley – and went back for more adventure – only to be captured.

      This story has more twists than a spy novel…

      – who actually is kidnapping
      – why were they kept for so long before being exposed
      – who made the ISIS beheading videos (some parts were amateurishly fake)
      – who produced this very different video with Cantlie (this is professional stuff)
      Many many questions. So few answers –

  2. […] posted the article recently called ‘The Strange Journey Of Freelance Journalist John Cantlie And his ISIS Travel Series”. The content and style of these (travelogue) videos by the ‘hostage-journalist’ […]

C'mon Leave a Reply, Debate and Add to the Discussion