Irish Examiner

Film of Bigley killing on extremist website

A videotape of the beheading of British hostage Kenneth Bigley appeared today on an Islamist website, showing the civil engineer pleading that he wanted “to live a simple life” moments before he was decapitated.

The nearly five-minute-long tape appeared two days after Mr Bigley’s family said it had proof that the 62-year-old civil engineer from Liverpool was dead. The body has not been found.

The tape showed Mr Bigley, dressed in an orange prison-style jump suit and seated in front of seven armed, hooded men.

Behind them was a banner of the feared Tawhid and Jihad group, the extremist organisation which has claimed responsibility for numerous suicide attacks and beheadings of Westerners.

Bigley made a brief statement, saying: “I am not a difficult person. I am a simple man who wants to live a simple life.”

He then told British Prime Minister Tony Blair that “more than ever I need your help”.

“Here I am again, Mr Blair,” Mr Bigley added. “Very, very close to the end of my life, you do not appear to have done anything at all to help me.”

He said his captors patience “is wearing thin, and they are very very serious people”.

“Please, please give them what they require – freedom of their women from the Abu Ghraib prison,” Mr Bigley said calmly.

“I beg you ... British people, more then ever I need your help, more than ever I need your voices, to go out in the street and to demand a better life for the females and the women who are imprisoned in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad ... All I can tell you now is that I have very short time left.”

One of the hooded men then spoke, saying “leaders of infidel Western governments” that “pretend to care about its people” but “they are liars and hypocrites”.

The speaker said the kidnappers extended the deadline for Mr Bigley’s death to allow time for coalition authorities to meet their demand to release all female prisoners held in Abu Ghraib prison.

The speaker accused the British government of lying when it said it did not know how to contact Tawhid and Jihad.

“They lied. There was a very clear contact,” the speaker said.

The speaker said that “because Britain is not serious in releasing our sisters, there is nothing further for this malicious Briton than the sword”.

Suddenly the speaker drew a knife from his belt, and three of the others grabbed Mr Bigley, who pivoted to his left. The men shoved Mr Bigley to the floor and cut off his head, which the killer then lifted for viewers to see.

Mr Bigley was seized on September 16 in his Baghdad home along with two Americans, who were beheaded within days.

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