Video footage has emerged showing U.S. freelance journalist Austin Tice being held by a group of masked men toting assault rifles in the first direct evidence of his condition since his disappearance in mid-August.
The 47-second video clip was posted onto YouTube on Sept. 26 and came to light on Monday after it appeared on a Facebook page associated with supporters of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It is the first to show Tice since he disappeared while reporting on Syria’s civil war. Tice contributed stories to multiple news outlets, including The Washington Post and McClatchy.
The video opens with shaky footage of a convoy of three vehicles moving through scrubby mountain terrain, before cutting to a small knot of armed men, faces obscured, leading Tice up a mountain path while calling “Allahu al-Akbar,” or “God is great.”
A blindfolded Tice is then pushed to his knees and filmed speaking a partially indecipherable prayer in Arabic. Tice, visibly distressed, cries out “Oh Jesus, oh Jesus” in English, before reverting to Arabic, seconds before the footage is cut.
An important development regarding the disappearance of Austin Tice, the American freelance journalist who went missing while reporting on the Syrian uprising in August.