U.K. Security Minister Ben Wallace believes British journalist John Cantlie, who was taken hostage in Syria in 2012 and appeared in more than a dozen ISIS propaganda videos, is still being held by the terrorist group, CNN reported.
Wallace, who made the remarks in London at a briefing for international journalists, did not elaborate or say whether Cantlie is thought to be in areas still held by ISIS.
Cantlie, an experienced war photographer, was covering the Syrian conflict when he was kidnapped in 2012 and eventually transferred to ISIS.
He was not seen until two years later when he appeared in an ISIS propaganda video, addressing the camera in an orange jumpsuit.
The terror group continued to use Cantlie in numerous additional propaganda footage, apparently under duress, with his past appearance in such a film coming in December 2016. In that video, he had a beard and appeared skeletal.
His family and supporters have issued multiple video appeals for his release.
Senior Whitehall sources were incensed at Wallace for his remarks, saying he might have put Cantlie's life in jeopardy by commenting on his status, The Telegraph reported.
A source said Wallace had "massively undermined" his own department with his comments.
"This could prompt his captors to move him, or even worse," he added. "It is a massive own goal by Ben Wallace. The threat on Mr. Cantlie's life has increased exponentially.'"