Today, McClatchy newspaper announced its discovery of a 47-second YouTube video of Austin Tice (SFS ’02, LAW ’13), a freelance journalist reporting from Syria over the summer for McClatchy, the Washington Post, and several other major publications. On August 30, McClatchy announced that Tice was likely in Syrian custody.
In the video, Tice is blindfolded and escorted by a group of armed, masked men. He calls out “Oh Jesus” twice as the men push him down to the ground. He speaks in Arabic briefly, until the video is cut off. According to McClatchy, the FBI has declined to comment on their investigations of Tice’s abduction.
The video, posted on September 26, appeared on a Facebook page of supporters of President Bashar al-Assad, according to McClatchy. This is the first time Tice has appeared since his family announced his disappearance on August 23. An expert on Syrian rebel groups Joseph Holliday said to the Washington Post that the video appears framed.
“It’s like a caricature of a jihadi group,” Holliday said to the Post. “It looks like someone went to the Internet, watched pictures of Afghan mujahedeen, then copied them.”
Tice is 31-years-old and one of the few journalists in Damascus reporting for Western publications.