Maupin was one of nine American soldiers and contractors caught in an ambush on 9 April. Five of those captured are known to have been killed, while Maupin was one of three whose fate had until now been unknown. One of the captives, Thomas Hamill, managed to escape from captivity in May.

The militants shown in the video claimed to be members of a group called the Sharp Sword Against the Enemies of God & His Prophet. In the recording they said Maupin’s death was a response to US policies in Iraq.

The US army has yet to confirm Maupin’s death. ‘There is no confirmation at this time that the tape contains footage of Maupin or any other army soldier,’ said a spokesman.