The first images have emerged of an Elf On The Shelf who has been captured by fighters claiming to represent the so-called Islamic State.

The photographs were released by their in-house Amaq news agency, and they were accompanied by a statement which told of how the kidnapping was a ‘symbolic capture of a symbol of western decadence.’

It added: ‘Please be under no illusions – we are prepared to press the button at any time and transform him from an ‘Eflie’ to a ‘Smoothie.’

‘Every year, the Western Infidels fill their social media timelines with this disgusting creature performing a range of unholy actions like covering light switches and frolicking in a mountain of icing sugar while pretending that it is crack cocaine.’

‘Every Elf On The Shelf that is sold pushes one of our own holiday products out of the market – hardly anybody is aware of our very special, attractive and reasonably priced Caliph In The Cupboard and this is an outrage.’

‘He comes complete with ceremonial sword for just £29.99, or in the deluxe pack for just five of your pounds more he comes with ten pre-recorded phrases including ‘Tis The Season To Dismember’ and ‘Little Donkey, Little Donkey, Please Don’t Tell My Wife.’

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office has confirmed that the photographs are being analysed, and also that a unit of the SAS is on standby to execute a rescue once intelligence is received.

Boris Johnson has already tried to intervene by tweeting: ‘This Elf’s imprisonment is an outrage. It was probably only trying to gather intelligence or kill everyone or something like that.’