Austin Tice, an American freelance journalist taken hostage in Syria August 13, appeared in a video posted Monday on a website sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
In the footage, the former marine is seen blindfolded and being led through wilderness by masked and armed men. He is forced to recite a Muslim prayer, but his captors do not assault him in the video.
Tice crossed over the Turkish border illegally into Syria in May and the American government has acknowledged that he is being held by the Syrian government. Some analysts have raised doubts about the authenticity of the video, the New York Times reports. The captors appear to be in Afghan clothing as opposed to Syrian and the structure of the video is not typical of usual captive videos.
Tice’s family has released the statement that it is “comforting” to see him “alive and well.”