A journalist has revealed she offered to take the place of Perthshire man David Haines before he was slain by Islamic State.
Former foreign correspondent Yvonne Ridley was taken captive by the Taliban following the 9/11 atrocities in New York but was released 11 days later.
She then converted to Islam and has since been involved in successful release negotiations in six other cases.
The attempt to free Mr Haines came in 2013 as she was travelling in South Africa with an Islamic contact.
She told a Sunday newspaper: “I was talking to someone who was very knowledgeable about Islam.
“I said I wished there was something I could do and he suggested an Islamic intercession, in which I could offer to swap places with him.
“In the cold light of day it seems crazy but we got a message out using websites in the Middle East to say I was offering to swap places with him (Mr Haines) as part of an Islamic intervention and if there was anything Islamic about the Islamic State (IS) they would appreciate this and would agree.”
Ms Ridley, who lives in the Borders, was advised by rebel Syrian groups not to proceed with the attempt as they felt it would lead to certain death.
Her new book, Does Torture Work, will be released on September 15 and contains details of how she was involved with successful hostage negotiations.
“If a government makes a decision that it will not sit down and negotiate with terrorists I do understand that and I can appreciate that,” she said.
“I think that stance is right. However, I don’t think that should stop friends, relatives or employers from doing whatever they can to try to get a person out of a hostage situation.”
David Haines was killed in September 2013.
Video footage of his barbaric death was taken by his captors.
The former Perth Academy pupil had been working in Syria at the time for the charity Acted, delivering humanitarian aid to war-torn communities.