Footage has emerged showing Austin Tice, an American journalist who has been missing in Syria since mid-August, alive.
Tice was a freelancer for the Washington Post and the McClatchy chain, among others. He had not been heard from since August 13.
A 47-second video called "Austin was posted on YouTube last Wednesday, but was not widely noticed until it was posted on Facebook on Monday. Tice's family confirmed that it was actually him in the video, saying in a statement, "Knowing Austin is alive and well is comforting to our family. Though it is difficult to see our eldest son in such a setting and situation as that depicted in the video, it is reassuring that he appears to be unharmed."
In the video, a blindfolded Tice is shown crying, "Oh Jesus," as people around him shout, "God is great."
The video raised red flags with some analysts who said it appeared staged. A McClatchy article noted that his captors were wearing clothes more traditionally seen in Afghanistan, not Syria, and that some of their shouts seemed halting and prompted. A Washington Post piece speculated that members of the Syrian government were posing as opposition or Al Qaeda members in the video.
Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchy's vice president for news, called "in the strongest possible terms" for Tice to be released. Washington Post editor Marcus Brauchli said, “Austin is a journalist who was doing his job. He should be allowed to return to his family.”