A US journalist missing for close to two months in Syria has appeared in a video apparently showing him being held hostage by a gang of masked gunmen. The 47-second clip, posted on YouTube, opens with shaky footage of a convoy of three vehicles in mountain terrain, then cuts to a small group of armed men leading journalist Austin Tice up a mountain while calling “God is great.” Tice, blindfolded, is then pushed to his knees, and he says a prayer in Arabic before crying out, "Oh Jesus, oh Jesus."
Tice was believed to be captured by Syrian troops near Damascus in August, after reporting for months in Syria. His parents have pleaded with the government to release the Georgetown law student. There are apparent discrepancies in the film, and it may be an attempt to make it appear that Tice is being held by Syrian rebels or terrorists when, in fact, he is still being held by government troops, reports the Washington Post. The captors are wearing tunics and pants that appear to be freshly pressed and clean, for example. “It’s like a caricature of a jihadi group,” says one expert. “It looks like someone went to the Internet, watched pictures of Afghan mujaheddin, then copied them.” Tice has written for the McClatchy Newspapers and the Post.