(Adds details, Hammond quotes)
LONDON Aug 20 British Prime Minister David
Cameron will interrupt his holiday and return to London on
Wednesday after Islamic State released a video that appeared to
show the beheading of a man identified as a U.S. journalist,
featuring comments by a man with a British accent.
"He will meet with the Foreign Secretary and senior
officials from the Home Office, Foreign Office and the agencies
to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria and the threat posed
by ISIL terrorists," a statement from Cameron's office read.
Britain said earlier it would also be working closely with
the United States to identify the man shown in the video holding
a knife, who appeared to have a British accent.
"Our intelligence services will be looking very carefully on
both sides of the Atlantic at this video to establish its
authenticity, to try to identify the individual concerned and
then we will work together to try to locate him," Foreign
Secretary Philip Hammond told Sky news.
Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq
and the Levant, or ISIL, has declared a caliphate in parts of
Iraq and Syria and posted a video on Tuesday that seemed to show
the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley.
Hammond said he was not surprised to hear the British accent
and that large numbers of British nationals were fighting in
Iraq and Syria.
"We are absolutely aware that there are significant numbers
of British nationals involved in terrible crimes, probably in
the commission of atrocities, making Jihad with ISIL and other
extremist organisations," he said.
He also said there was a risk to national security if those
fighters sought to return to Britain. Several arrests have been
made under counter-terrorism laws at British airports.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas and William James; Editing by
Belinda Goldsmith, Larry King)