Austin Tice, an American journalist who had reported from inside Damascus, wanted to cover the suffering of the Syrian people under the regime of Bashar Assad. He was last heard from in mid-August on his way to the Lebanon border.
"Spent the day at an FSA pool party with music by @taylorswift13. ...Hands down, best birthday ever," reads Austin's last tweet, on Aug. 11. Two days later, he said goodbye to his translator and left for the Lebanon border (he had crossed into Syria via Turkey).
On Sept. 26, a video titled "Austin Tice still alive" was posted on a pro-Assad website. Foreign policy experts and Syrian natives alike agreed that everything from the poor production quality to the costumes and chants seemed staged to look like al-Qaeda-style jihadists, calling out "God is great" while leading a blindfolded Tice up a hill. Tice stammers an Arabic prayer followed by, "Oh Jesus, oh Jesus." The video ends abruptly.
I talked with a defected Syrian general and other sources about the case of Austin Tice. What's needed now is that sliver of information that will lead to Austin's whereabouts.