Croatians In Shock For Their “Scotsman” David Haines Held By Islamic State Terrorists

Screenshot from video posted online by  Jihadist extremist group Islamic State  showing US journalist Steven Sotloff (left)  who is said to have been executed in a video  uploaded September 2, 2014.  The group has threatened  to behead UK national  David Cawthorne Haines (right)  if its demands are not met.

Screenshot from video posted online by
Jihadist extremist group Islamic State
showing US journalist Steven Sotloff (left)
who is said to have been executed in a video
uploaded September 2, 2014.
The group has threatened
to behead UK national
David Cawthorne Haines (right)
if its demands are not met.

Dragana, the Croatian wife of the British (Scottish) hostage David Haines has described him as “everything to us” in her first comments since IS terrorists threatened to behead him, last Tuesday.
David Haines, father of two Croatian born children, is described by his wife as a “fantastic man and father”. To the people of Sisak (near Zagreb) where David settled with his new family and to the people of nearby Petrinja where he worked tirelessly in helping people rise from the aftermath of the brutal war, is fondly known as “the Scotsman” ever since he wore his Scottish kilt at his wedding there in 2010.
He made his home in Croatia after spending five years helping local people, including Muslim families, rebuild their homes after the 1990’s war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the town of Petrinja, where he helped put up 800 houses, are in shock over his seemingly hopeless plight.
David Haines, who was born on Humberside but raised in Scotland, has a 17-year-old daughter in Scotland by his first wife Louise and a four-year-old daughter by his second wife Dragana, who is Croatian.

Dragana and David Haines at their wedding in Croatia - 2010

Dragana and David Haines
at their wedding in
Croatia – 2010

Speaking at the family’s home in Sisak near Zagreb to British media Daily Mail and Telegraph, Friday 5 September, Dragana Haines, said: “He’s everything to us. He’s our life. He’s a fantastic man and father.
“Nobody can understand how we are feeling. My daughter keeps asking about him every day. She hasn’t seen her father for a year and a half. She has gone through so much. She sees me crying all the time”.

Sisak, Petrinja … Croatia … where David Haines earned immeasurable amounts of respect and love are in shock since Tuesday when the Islamic State (IS) terrorists published the video threatening to behead him after they had beheaded the two US citizens James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
David Haines helped “thousands” of local people in Croatia as he led efforts to build new homes and schools for refugees returning to their shattered villages.
The whole town of Petrinja is shocked. People cannot believe it is true. We were hoping it must be someone else.
“Last night I woke up with the image of him kneeling in the desert wearing that orange suit. I can’t get that picture out of my mind,” said Nena Skoric, Haines’ former landlady where he lived while working for the German aid agency Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund.
Mrs Skoric’s house is in an area of Croatia where landmines left by Serbs still lie hidden in the soil, lethal relics of the war.
After leaving Croatia David Haines worked for aid organisations in Libya and South Sudan. He was working for a French aid agency at the Atmeh refugee camp in northern Syria when he was abducted on March 12, 2013.
If I could, I would gladly swap places with him. I am old, I have lived my life. He is young and he helped thousands of people. He didn’t deserve this,” Nena Skoric said with a heavy sigh.

During the past week the Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency SOA released some of it documents that allow the public an insight into the agency’s work. SOA listed the question of “Jihadists” from the neighouring countries as one of its security challenges.

“There had been more than a hundred fighters from the neighbouring countries going to Syria, later Iraq, since 2012. Some of them are members of the most radical Islamic groups fighting in those areas,” the SOA document says. SOA further reports that till now there had been no such persons identified that come from Croatia but that Jihadists use the Croatian territory as transit areas.

Croatian TV news 3 September reported that a police operation dubbed “Damascus” in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo, Zenica, Kiseljak, Maglaj, Zvornik …places known as centres for radical Islamists) arrested 16 Islamists charged with inciting terrorism and the organising of volunteers to fight in Syria and Iraq. Some of them have participated in fighting in Syria on several occasions, the news report said.

Croatia needs to tighten its border controls with Bosnia and Herzegovina even more, despite the rather lukewarm risk assessment by its very own national security agency SOA. While Bosnian Jihadists have been known to use the route Sarajevo-Istanbul then to Syria/Iraq this became too obvious to the world so they started going into Croatia and then easily to the rest of the European Union from where the routes to Syria and Iraq are many and less visible. So far official statistics from Bosnia and Herzegovina say (Croatian TV news 3 September 2014) that 160 men and 20 women from Bosnian Islamic communities have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq and that some of these had actually contributed to the logistics used by the ISIS! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Further reading on David Haines story:

The Telegraph, UK

The Daily Mail, UK

The Independent, UK


  1. We are living in terrible times, terrible

  2. Oh, this is so sad and tragic. I am very moved by his plight. I pray they will send him home. Hugs, Barbara

  3. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel.

  4. There will be no end to this sort of thing. It is a wound too deep – i think there is little anyone can do. War is not the answer, but war, i suppose is what we will have out there. eve

  5. perhaps another idea, would be for journalist to keep a safe distance away from ever being captured. Do we really need the photos? – Do we really look at them. Most of us do not. We are sick of the wars and the despair to all. None of us are spared. This young man had a life to live. Would have wanted him to live it. xx

    • It does become difficult to watch such hatred and brutality, Eve. On the other hand if we are kept in the dark from such happenings how would we know to defend ourselves, to try and stop it

      • yes, but this “ordeal” or war is heavy enough, without photographers or journalist putting themselves in the lion’s mouth, so to speak. No need for that. These young men are bound to be caught and then the consequences they face are horrible. To lose your life for an article can never make sense to me.There is today, like never before, many ways to report war stories without having to be subjected to terror and death. Today, the world is ruled by corps. not govns. Thus, what are we seeing in the news? I assure you it is not the real news for that is kept from us. The news media today is owned by a few at the “top”, who decide exactly what the public needs to see.. imho. eve. (thugs beheading Western journalist falls right into the hands of the elitist who want war.) My take of course.. best eve.

      • Oh Eve, I agree – we do not need to see most of the photographs being published and indeed I look the other way. I do not want to see beheaded heads, ripped guts, half skulls blown away etc – these are published for sensational effects I fear and to attract readers/audience but we do need to know what goes on and there must be ways of getting the story without risking ones life – I agree. Needless to say that many people do not watch the whole news as presented but rather choose what news they will watch or read. Cheers

      • We are between a rock and a hard place. I do not believe in war but this barbarism must not be tolerated. It breaks my heart. Hugs, Barbara

      • Totally agree, Barbara

  6. It is tragic. I feel we are better if we know. So we need journalists there. We are better to help, so we need aid workers there. I am sad that IS see him as a white European, someone to threaten, someone they want dead, rather than a human being working for the good of Sunni Syrians.

    • Yes, Clare, the IS chooses its targets carefully and Haines is British, which makes him a powerful symbol just as the US Foley and Sotloff were. I too feel it’s better if we know because the evil of IS does not stop at the borders of Syria or Iraq

  7. I feel sorry for his family, his young daughter. I also understand why these islamists do this, they are in darkness. I pity them as well, they are not doing a favour to themselves or others. Prayers for the family and may these islamists who are doing this repent and wake up.

    • What a great day that would be, Dani, if they awoke with goodness and peace in their hearts. One cannot but fret that such a dawn shall not come and so we must pray and we must fight.

  8. Serbs reaped terror and horror in Petrinja during the war in1990’s, ethnic cleansing of Croats, mass murders, atrocious, heinous acts of barbarism – much like what operatives of Islamic State are doing in Syria and Iraq right now. Then in 1995 the Serbs fled from Croatia in masses as Croatian forces liberated the area. Like cowards Serbs fled, fearing reprisals most likely…and would want the world to forget the horrors they served against Croats before fleeing to Serbia and to remember only that they, Serbs – fled! Then soon after the former communists took power in Croatia in 2000 came this project of internationally propped agenda for the return of Serbs into the area, without giving thorough consideration to processing war criminals, with numerous amnesties handed to Serb war criminals, with thousands Croats still missing… and so it came that David Haines worked on some housing projects for the returning Serbs in Petrinja and surrounds. It’s cruelly ironic that similar class of barbarians as many many Serbs in Croatia during the war now hold him hostage in ‘the Islamic State’. It is a sad state of affairs and my thoughts and prayers go to him.

    • Cruel irony, Wilkinson, which by all accounts Haines played no part in making except being in places of need, working where help was needed by people.

  9. So where are all the “true” muslims who say that extremists do not define their religion? Why are they not protesting in the streets against ISIS and other islamic extremist and terrorist groups who are hijacking their religion? Where are they in helping to free good people that are being held hostage? The Scotsman helped many muslims as the article points out, it’s time to repay the kindness. Where is the Bosnian Muslim state and even Turkey in helping to free this courageous man who has helped many muslims. Sitting on your hands does nothing.

    • Yes, Sunman, it does seem odd and leaves one with unease that the world is not seeing more rallies of Muslims in the streets protesting against IS and seeking intervention, lobbying loudly against it. There have been some but only too little.

  10. Michael Silovic says:

    It is with a heavy heart that I comment on the Davids predicament. I am sure he was fully aware of the dangers that he faced while working abroad. Someone who has been in war torn areas and intelligent enough to know what was happening around him he took the risk that he did foolishly and in my opinion selfishly with out thinking about or putting his family first.He was smart enough to know that he and many others abroad are HVT. ( High Valued Targets ) There are people who are dedicated to their work as journalist who go out and seek the truth which we are thankful for but at what cost ? is it worth it for those who have family waiting for their return. The article clearly states that his children are pained by not seeing their fathers for years. Many times people get wrapped up in such things that they do not think about their actions and the damage they leave behind.Sadly we can pray all we want but at this stage I do not believe his life will be spared. But what we really need to do is look at the root cause of this problem and where the blame really lies.The blame clearly lies within the USA and Britain for destroying the Middle East countries systematically without caring about the future of those countries or a solid plan to restore order. These are only two countries at this stage that have been mainly targeted for retaliation for their actions and as always common people are the ones who pay the price for goverment actions.Europe will have a big problem that will even effect Croatia if the EU agrees to send NATO troops into the Middle East.They will be looked at as the enemy and then all Europeans will be targeted. I hope Croatia is smart enough not to get caught up in this mess but I fear we have no choice because of our commitment to the EU and NATO.

    • Yes, Michael, sadly there are jobs that require risk taking as such is the world and I would think that Haines weighed out those risks when he set out to Lybia and then Syria, still his fate is something the free world must fight against. USA and Britain (and other Allies) did not I believe set out on destroying the Middle East and beyond (Iraq, Afghanistan…) but rather naively or not plunged in there under the pretense of bringing democracy and even their highest of political analysts knew for sure that one cannot bring democracy (not in a hundred years) to a place where competing Tribal mentality, where each Tribe fights for supremacy over the others. As to Croatia’s part in NATO if NATO takes the move I agree there will be no choice. Croatian collective memory still remembers the utter brutality of the Ottoman Empire in 1500’s as it spread across, but Croatia defended itself well against the brute and perhaps that part of memory will give strength to fight against such hateful cause as is the IS

  11. (✿◠‿◠)..Sa ai o seara plina de tandrete si iubire
    …sa poti simti frumusetea vietii, cu toata fiinta– Have an evening full of tenderness and love
    … you can feel the beauty of life, the whole being…♡◕ ‿ ◕♡

  12. I really hope that times aren’t worse than they used to be, but that we are just more exposed to the awfulness.

  13. What they did to him was completely and utterly sick. For one, I hope they get what’s coming to them.

  14. Some people think these are part of a CIA false flag operation. I’m not certain myself, but there are suspicious aspects to it. I’ve seen the Foley video. I have some extensive notes on it if you’re interested.

    For the last six weeks, I’ve been working on the savage attack on Gaza…PART DELETED

    • Thanks Site Owner on comment, I’m not about to unravel any “secrets” but it all looks genuine to me, sadly. Have moderated part of your comment as it was not associated with the post and matters of Israel and it’s actions in Gaza do deserve separate articles etc – another topic that attracts hot debates 🙂

      • Hi Ina, it’s me, Donald Miller. I decided to make a blog post about it. Everything is documented. Only one image with some blood in it.

        The post isn’t just about the video. It also deals with the declining freedoms in the US.

      • Cheers, Donald – yes noted the commentator via email address – thanks and of course, interesting reading awaiting on your web 🙂

      • “. . . I’m not about to unravel any “secrets” but it all looks genuine to me . . .” I’ve made many straightforward honest comments on your blog after reading your entire articles. I must say that I’m disappointed that people disagreed with me without even reading my article. Disagreeing is fine. I have no problem with that, at all. But to disagree without even having read the article is more than a bit disappointing. Such an important topic and no debate.

      • It would be disappointing, Donald, if that were the case, i.e. forming an opinion without reading – don’t know about others but I read several sources and perhaps, the truth is that it’s too horrible to imagine the public has been served with such awful lies, i.e. that we’re told people have been killed when they haven’t

      • What about my article? I expected a discussion and perhaps some challenges to my reasoning. For instance, the knife in the last “scene” is clearly not the same knife the guy is holding at the beginning of the video. Did the Jihadists trick their victims into thinking they might not be killed and then went ahead and killed them with the real knife, or did the CIA do its usual botched up job of it?
        I noticed that in the last case, Mr. Haines, the same Jihadist is holding a real knife. Then when they begin to pan the camera up as they did before, it fades to black.
        In all these cases, the media has consistently written titles like, “Islamic State releases gruesome beheading video.” NO. As a matter of fact in none of them did they show a beheading. But you wouldn’t know it from the statements made by every major news outlet.
        Absolutely zero coverage of the children of Gaza, some buried alive under wreckage, and rescued. These children can have big happy smiles on their faces after all that has been done to them. Not one peep from MSM.

      • Regretfully, Donald, most mainstream media compete for our attention and sensational headlines are a part of that. And yes, no beheading was shown as far as I could see, but even if it were I would not watch it – too distressing. Then news fed is fed along the political agenda subscribed to by media owners… I personally have accepted that Haines, Foley and Sotloff have been killed – to me it does not matter whether it was by beheading or by another means – any is worse than the other especially as the victims are innocent and killed for what they represent, who they are and that is what the world needs to fight against…I cannot but think that way given the recent killings from same reasons that occurred in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina…to me beheading is not the news we should be concerned with but the actual loss of innocent lives…it is a given that governments and their serving media will present many lies in order to add to a build-up of anger against ISIS/ISIL…and certainly such build up is unnecessary because we should fight against and reject any violence…while your analyses took a great deal of care and effort to eventually arrive at the truth at the end of the day to me the means of such brutality are not as important as the significance of its impact i.e. death.

    • Michael silovic says:

      Site, This is not part of any false flag. As someone who has spent many years inside the goverment I can assure it is real. I have spent many years covert and non covert working for us aid and with the American military . The reality of it is that yes you can not trust any government ( I have no trust or faith ) or press that you read and need to research all you can to come to your own conclusion. Your conclusion will lead you to the truth if your study it all. My conclusion is not a delusion as I know of the fabrication goverment is capable of in distorting information ( we have seen his with Gotoviana Et El ) and for this reason I despise all governments because it is always those who are innocent that pay the price. David paid a price to be able to give us the truth and sadly his voice was silenced. If anything we are taught by his loss is that we all should use the voice he no longer has in objection to what and why we do the things we do rightly or wrongly. From my perspective I believe that IS is in need of some serious punishment which I believe will happen sooner then later. But as always we need to understand where and why this all came about and who is to blame. This is not something that came about all of a sudden but has a history of foreign intervention that lead us into a region that is imploding because of policy by other countries that created instability in that region that really in my opinion needed not to happen. The EU and NATO both would fair much better if we focused on the root cause of the problem in all of the middle east rather then just drop bombs which is nothing more then a band aid. At this stage of the game everyone should step back and allow a sharia state / country take place and if the people do not want that let them fight their own battle. You see Muslims living all over the world in free countries demanding sharia law even though they are not entitled to it in those countries they live in so then they can go back or should be deported if that is the way they want to live. We could be fighting a war for the next 100 years and many people such as David will lose their life in trying to explain what is going on.I think the first start of a real peace in the middle east would be to send everyone back where they came from and not give any type of asylum or temporary residency to those who came to live in other countries. The saddest thing of all of this is we lost a hero and a friend to our people who stood with us in time of need and he will be missed indeed. I pray for the healing of his children and family and hope everyone prayers and love are with them in this time of need.

      • I believe you may have been referring to James rather than David (?) Michael Silovic – at this moment the news I read is that David is still alive but critically ill due to torture by IS that included electric shocks. Inadvertent mistake perhaps

      • All of what you wrote is interesting. But it doesn’t seem like you read my article when you made the comment. The only thing that is in dispute about the beheading video is the final shot — whether it is real or not. The first section of the video is indisputably fake. It is impossible for it not to be. Everything I wrote about is documented, including the distinctly different knives in the two scenes. Obviously and indisputably different knives.

        As far as Islamic State is concerned, it seems to be following Sharia in the more densely populated areas. If an infidel pays a tax and doesn’t not violate Sharia, they cannot be harassed.

        With respect to its war tactics, the some of the soldiers are clearly mentally ill. Nevertheless, I’ve spent seven of the most nerve racking weeks of my life speaking out on behalf of Gaza and against Israel’s atrocities and clear violations of international law, and the traditional rules of war. Islamic State couldn’t possibly be any worse than the Israelis. I know what they’ve done. I’ve never heard of Islamic State burning boys alive.

        The pass that has been given Israel while Islamic State has been demonized, disproportionately is another clear example of psyops and the manufacturing of consent for continued wars in the Middle East by Western powers.

  15. 1.5 billion Muslim are silent,If they are against these atrocities why they don’t make their move to stop ISIS and it’s barbaric belief.Where are the decent Muslim?or they approve what ISIS is committing ???? Its time for the whole world to stop this calamity.Regards.

    • Not enough Muslims protesting, Jalal, that’s for sure. Few “squeaks” here and there don’t convince anyone that Muslim/Islam truly stands unified in the main against such atrocities.

      • I’ve met a lot of Muslims since I began my pro-Gaza activities. They’re much friendlier than I expected. Most of them are concerned about Islamic State.

        The people who have surprised me recently are the Russians. I’ve always felt friendly towards them, but they have a good deal of hostility towards Americans.

      • I have never trusted communists and communism had a huge effect on many Russians, Donald, and leadership there still full of the Red poison as to Muslims I think we should be seeing much more protests against IS in Western countries as well as countries of Midle East. Asia etc that are considered “Muslim”by majority.

      • I don’t know why they don’t protest as a group. I know they do personally. Maybe people in Malaysia don’t think they have any control over what happens in the Middle East — they might be right about that.

        But, I’m going to give myself a healthy bit of rest from anything having to do with the Middle East. I’ve had about all I can handle about that worst place in the world, just a notch above North Korea.

      • Noted, Donald 🙂

  16. There is consummate evil here. I pray for his safe return.

  17. not sure if this is helpful. It is an interesting theory. There are videos etc. on line now, saying there killing of the journalist is fake.. Now I don’t now what to think.. But i am passing this along for your interest. eve

  18. I hope he is okay. You described a good man.

  19. Reblogged this on johncoyote and commented:
    Don’t forget this man. Please.

  20. RIP David, may God rest your soul and condemn to hell those of the cowardly barbarians who slaughter the innocent in the name of “Allah”..

  21. Thanks for sharing this Ina. I want to say something and I hope I don’t offend anyone here it is not my intention to mock or minimize this tragedy but there is much discussion on this beheading saying that they are not authentic, that they have been photoshopped and that this is done so that Americans approve military action again. If this was the case, maybe these men are still alive and maybe we can hope? I’m a truth seeker therefore, I am always looking into what the Main Stream Media doesn’t tell the public, there is a motive behind the beheadings, so please don’t be upset I’m not saying this didn’t happen, I’m just saying there is talk that it might not be real and that would be good news would it not? It’s horrible that either way these people are being used for a war we have nothing to do with, when are people going to realize that wars make money, money controls everything?
    Take a look at my movement to Starve The War Machine if you want Ina, your support would be great.

    Great website and thank you for visiting my blog!
    Hvala lijepa Ina, mogu i Hrvatski pisati ako se malo potrudim. Nadam se da mi neces zamjeriti za ovaj post. Nije mi namjera da nikoga povrijedim a jos najmanje obitelji ovog covjeka, Srce mi se raskida samo znajuci sto je to izgubiti nekoga koga volis.

    • Thank you, Ines, I do like reading your posts and as to the beheadings I have come across claims or analyses that they did not occur, however I believe they did and if they did not – thank God the men are alive. Will check out the starvingwarmachine for sure and thanks for the words in Croatia and I do not believe your comment offends anyone especially not when there are theories/claims that oppose the mainstream claims regarding the beheadings. We live in a free world, thanks God, and that freedom has taught us that we need to look at things from various sides and have open discussions, air our concerns, Cheers

  22. so many disturbing world events these days. its heartbreaking

  23. ISIS is setting the world on fire; I hope the effort to get rid of them is successful soon.

    • Me too, Jackie, the darkness that’s sitting on the horizon, slowly spreading everywhere, if quick and decisive action isn’t taken looks too horrible to imagine

Leave a Reply

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions:

All content on “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is for informational purposes only. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” blog is not responsible for and expressly disclaims all liability for the interpretations and subsequent reactions of visitors or commenters either to this site or its associate Twitter account, @IVukic or its Facebook account. Comments on this website are the sole responsibility of their writers and the writer will take full responsibility, liability, and blame for any libel or litigation that results from something written in or as a direct result of something written in a comment. The nature of information provided on this website may be transitional and, therefore, accuracy, completeness, veracity, honesty, exactitude, factuality and politeness of comments are not guaranteed. This blog may contain hypertext links to other websites or webpages. “Croatia, the War, and the Future” does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information on any other website or webpage. We do not endorse or accept any responsibility for any views expressed or products or services offered on outside sites, or the organisations sponsoring those sites, or the safety of linking to those sites. Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome and encouraged to voice their opinion regardless of identity, politics, ideology, religion or agreement with the subject in posts or other commentators. Personal or other criticism is acceptable as long as it is justified by facts, arguments or discussions of key issues. Comments that include profanity, offensive language and insults will be moderated.
%d bloggers like this: