A leading intelligence expert fears Islamic extremists are deliberately threatening to behead a Scots aid worker to break up the UK.
David Haines was paraded by Islamic State fighters this week following the second beheading of a US journalist. A macabre video makes it clear the 44-year-old faces a brutal death at the hands of an IS executioner.
Last night highly-placed intelligence sources revealed it is “extremely likely” ISIS terror chiefs believe beheading Haines will make Prime Minister David Cameron appear “weak”, fuelling anti-British sentiment among referendum voters.
One expert believes they are using the dad-of-two in a propaganda drive as the Scottish independence referendum approaches. Professor Anthony Glees, one of the UK’s most respected intelligence analysts, is convinced ISIS sense an opportunity to weaken the UK via their brutal campaign of terror.
He said: “ISIS are believed to be holding around 30 hostages. Some are Scandinavian but there are other Brits among the group. So you need to ask why David Haines has been picked after two Americans. ISIS are masters of propaganda and realise the impact of selecting a Scot. They will hope by showing the UK is weak and unable to defend its citizens it will drive Scots to embrace independence.
“One of the UK’s big selling points in remaining together is the strength of the UK on the world stage – their sword and shield. If they can no longer strike hostile forces who attack their citizens, the UK is clearly in danger of being a spent force heading towards division. And a weakened UK is exactly what the ISIS wants.”
Based at the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham, Professor Glees has become a world authority on ISIS. He says the jihadists “are clearly playing politics with the captives they are selecting and using in propaganda videos”. The fanatics monitor Western media and will be attuned to the subtleties of the referendum debate, he says.
Anthony Glees has previously made a speciality of making inflammatory claims that universities and colleges are training grounds for violent extremism among Muslim students. Next time anyone is tempted to give those claims any credence, they might like to bear in mind that Glees is clearly a total lunatic.