Tags: frenchman | beheaded | algerian | jihadists | islamic state

Frenchman Beheaded by Algerian Jihadists Linked to Islamic State

By    |   Wednesday, 24 September 2014 02:05 PM

A Frenchman was beheaded by jihadists linked to the Islamic State in a video posted online Wednesday.

AFP reported that Hervé Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountaineering guide from Nice, was abducted Sunday while hiking in Algeria by Jund al-Khilifa, "Soldiers of the Caliphate." The park from which he was taken, Djurdjura National Park, is in the Tizi-Ouzou region east of Algiers. It was once a popular destination for tourists seeking recreation, but has more recently become a sanctuary for jihadists.

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The Algerians' video comes after the group demanded French President Francois Hollande cease airstrikes against the Islamic State or they would kill Gourdel.

Hollande refused to capitulate to the demand.

On Wednesday, he condemned the killing on Twitter, releasing a statement in French that said, "Our compatriot Hervé Gourdel was murdered by a terrorist group, cowardly, cruelly, shamefully. I am thinking of him." The post seemed to confirm the authenticity of the beheading.

The video of Gourdel's beheading is similar to the videos previously released by the Islamic State in which the group beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David C. Haines.

In the video, Gourdel is seen on his knees with his hands behind his back flanked by four masked militants. He expresses love for his family, denounces "French criminal crusaders" operating in Algeria, Mali, and Iraq, and is then beheaded. One of the jihadists says that the slaying serves to "avenge the victims in Algeria ... and support the caliphate."

According to MSNBC, a senior Obama administration official said that if the video is authentic, "it would be yet another horrific action that is an affront to all of humanity" and added that "The United States would obviously stand in full solidarity with our French ally. We extend condolences to the people of France."

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A Frenchman was beheaded by jihadists linked to the Islamic State in a video posted online Wednesday.
frenchman, beheaded, algerian, jihadists, islamic state
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 02:05 PM
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