Your Source for Leaks Around the World!

Al-Qaeda Mali Branch Releases Proof of Life Video Showing 6 Foreign Hostages (ZA, AU, RO, CH, CO, FR)

In Al-Qaeda, Archive, Mali, Terrorism on July 3, 2017 at 3:45 PM

07/01/2017

AP:

An al-Qaida-linked group in Mali has released a proof-of-life video showing six foreign hostages, shortly before the French president arrived in the West African country for an anti-terror summit.

The recently formed Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen issued the video Saturday on Telegram. The video shows Stephen McGowan of South Africa, Elliot Kenneth Arthur of Australia, Iulian Ghergut of Romania, Beatrice Stockly of Switzerland, Gloria Cecilia Narvaez of Colombia and Sophie Petronin of France.

“No genuine negotiations have begun to rescue your children,” a narrator says.

The narrator also mentions the recently elected French President Emmanuel Macron, saying that Petronin “is hoping that the new French president will come to her rescue.”

Macron said he welcomed the first sign of life for several months from Petronin.

“These people are nothing,” he said of the extremists. “They are terrorists, thugs and assassins. And we will put all of our energies into eradicating them.”

Macron met Sunday in Mali with heads of state from five nations across Africa’s Sahel region to build support for a new 5,000-strong multinational force meant to counter extremists there. Deadly attacks in recent years in countries once considered relatively safe have alarmed the international community.

In March, a video announced the creation of Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen from a merger of three extremist groups: the al-Qaida-linked al-Mourabitoun, Ansar Dine and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen claimed responsibility for last month’s attack on a resort area popular with foreigners outside Mali’s capital that killed at least five people.

A number of the hostages in Mali have been held for years. Of the six shown in the video, McGowan was the earliest seized, abducted in 2011 from a hostel in Timbuktu. Narvaez, a nun, was the most recently seized, abducted in February near the border with Burkina Faso.

On Sunday, Colombia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that “knowing she is alive motivates us to keep working for her timely release.”

The video comes after Sweden’s government announced the release of Johan Gustafsson last Monday, who was held by Islamic extremists in Mali for six years.

UPDATE 08/03/2017: AQIM Releases South African Hostage Stephen McGown After Almost 6 Years; $4.2 Million Ransom Paid

  1. […] Militants released a video showing six captives, including Mr. McGown, last month, before a visit to Mali by President Emmanuel Macron of France. Mr. McGown also holds a British passport. […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: