A third western hostage has been beheaded by the Islamic State.
A video surfaced on the internet showing the brutal beheading of David Haines, a British aid worker.
The video was entitled ‘A message to the allies of America’ while the beheading has been described as an act of pure evil by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
The successes of IS, who have occupied large areas of Syria and Iraq have attracted many militants to their cause and the CIA has upped their estimate of the organisations battlefield capabilities.
The Islamic State “can muster” between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria, far higher than the previous CIA estimate of 10,000, a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.
“This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity and additional intelligence,” the statement said.
President Barack Obama is under increasing pressure to take decisive action against IS, who have threatened to execute another British hostage.
The hostage, named in the video as a second Brit, is then paraded by the Islamic militant.
The militant adds: “If you, Cameron, persist in fighting the Islamic State then you like your master Obama, will have the blood of your people on your hands.”