A video has surfaced that shows missing American journalist Austin Tice alive in Syria and apparently being held hostage by gunmen.
The video is the first evidence of Tice’s condition since he disappeared in August.
A 31-year-old former Marine, Tice had been reporting from Syria for various U.S. news outlets including the Washington Post, McClatchy Newspapers and others. Since the videos surfacing, Tice’s family has released a statement to several media outlets confirming it was their son in the video.
While sources could not confirm the origin or content of the clip, it appears that Tice is in the custody of the Syrian government and in an extremely hostile situation.
The 47-second video, entitled, “Austin Tice Still Alive,” shows him trecking up a rocky trail as men with guns and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher escort him up a hill while he is blindfolded.
The men repeat, “God is great,” in Arabic.
Tice also cries out some muffled prayer in Arabic — one traditionally cited before dying, according to the New York Times. He then cries, “Oh Jesus, oh Jesus,” and rests his head on a captor. He isn’t shown being harmed.
The captured journalist is shown wearing a tattered green shirt while the men’s garb resembles what an Afghan would wear, not someone from Syria, according to the newspaper.
No one has taken direct responsibility for the video, which doesn’t show when it was recorded. Some analysts say it appears staged and lacks the slickness of other jihadist videos, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the Times, Tice entered Syria in May without proper government authorization.
The U.S. State Department tells the Times that it believes he was detained by Syrian authorities in August, although Damascus isn’t claiming involvement. U.S. officials also wouldn’t verify the latest footage’s authenticity.
Tice’s father told CNN that the video — as many new questions as it raises — has given comfort to the family.
“Though it is difficult to see our eldest son in such a setting and situation as the one depicted in the video, it is reassuring that he appears to be unharmed,” said Marc Tice, of Houston.
Check below to see the video of Austin Tice captured in Syria.