A freed French hostage held with David Haines has said one of his kidnappers took a perverse pleasure in torturing Syrian prisoners, and had boasted of how he had raped and killed a young mother before beheading her baby.
Nicolas Hénin, a journalist, identified one of his kidnappers as Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, the French jihadist awaiting trial in Brussels for shooting dead four people at the city’s Jewish Museum after returning to Europe.
He gave details of torture inflicted on prisoners by Isil militants holding the British aid worker David Haines.
Mr Hénin described hearing beatings going on all night until the dawn prayer. He said he had been beaten by Mr Nemmouche, adding: “I don’t know if he [Nemmouche] tortured other western prisoners.”
However, Mr Hénin’s account matches reports of beatings inflicted on other hostages including James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the two American journalists who have been beheaded in the past month. […]
Mr Hénin described Mr Nemmouche as a publicity-loving sadist who “is awaiting trial with delight”. The magazine reporter said he was known as “Abu Omar the hitter” and had told him how he had enjoyed raping a woman before slitting her throat and killing her baby. “It’s such a pleasure to cut off a baby’s head,” Mr Hénin quoted him as saying.