(Agence France-Presse) A dramatic change of tone in the latest hostage video released by the Islamic State has convinced experts that the jihadist group is isolated and fearful of a US assault.
Where three previous clips ended with a masked militant slitting the throat of a kneeling hostage, the new release Thursday -- a teaser trailer for a promised series of documentaries -- takes a different tack.
The hostage, British photojournalist John Cantlie, sits behind a desk and in a measured tone makes the case for Western powers to drop the threat of military intervention against his captors.
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He admits he is speaking as a prisoner and that he may yet follow his former cellmates to the grave, but urges viewers to tune in to a series of films that will reveal another side of the Islamic State group, which has rampaged across large areas of Iraq and Syria.
The video shares the polished production values of its predecessors but none of the blood-soaked savagery, a telling detail for analysts.