In December last year, Moazzam Begg, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison, received a message from aid workers in Syria. They told him a British colleague named Alan Henning had been kidnapped by ISIS — and they wanted Begg to help negotiate his release.
Begg is British-Pakistani, but has lived in Syria and says he has strong connections there. He also speaks fluent Arabic. "I spoke to former hostage negotiators here [UK], I got messages to prominent scholars ... and I wrote a letter to the Caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi," Begg says.