Video shows US journalist held in Syria
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An American freelance journalist who has been missing in Syria since mid-August has been shown in a video clip posted online, blindfolded and saying "Oh, Jesus" in a frightened voice in the custody of armed men.
The video, which came to light Monday, was the first sign of Austin Tice's condition since he disappeared more than seven weeks ago. Tice, a 31-year-old former Marine, had been reporting on Syria's civil war for The Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and others.
The Tice family confirmed to several media outlets that their son appears in the video.
In the 47-second clip, Tice tries to recite the Muslim declaration of faith, or shahada, but then switches to English and says, "Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus" and rests his head on a captor's arm.
Associated Press could not independently confirm the origin or content of the clip. Although footage shows a group of captors dressed like Islamic extremists and shouting "God is Great", the clip lacks customary appearance of jihadist videos.
In the weeks after Tice went missing, the Czech government — which represents American interests in Syria — said it had information that Tice was in Syrian government custody but had yet to get confirmation from authorities.
The video was posted online September 26, but it went unnoticed until Monday.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said she could not verify whether the video "represents an actual scene or something that may have been staged."
McClatchy and The Washington Post appealed for Tice's release.
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