Javier Espinosa, a Spanish journalist kidnapped in 2013 while covering the Syrian war, described his dreadful ordeal at the hands of the Islamic State fighters, who often staged mock executions and exerted other types of psychological pressure to torture their prisoners.
Mohammed Emwazi, better known as Jihadi John, played a leading role in the mock executions, according to Espinosa. Emwazi is widely believed to be the militant, featured in the Islamic state propaganda videos, showing executions of foreign aid workers and journalists.
On one occasion Emwazi imitated cutting Espinosa's throat with an antique sword, the journalist recalled. He then put a gun to the hostage's head and pulled the trigger three times. Espinosa added that militants, notorious for their brutality, took pleasure in repeatedly telling their hostages that they would be executed.
Javier Espinosa was released in March 2014 after spending six months in captivity.