Quantcast
Latest Stories

Al-Qaeda releases ‘credible’ hostage video


DAKAR – Al-Qaeda’s North African branch has released a video purporting to show seven kidnapped Westerners, the Mauritanian news agency ANI reported, footage France’s foreign ministry deemed “credible.”

The hostages are four Frenchmen kidnapped from a uranium compound in northern Niger exactly three years ago along with a Dutchman, a Swede and a South African who were abducted from Timbuktu in northern Mali in November 2011.

“Based on an initial analysis, the video seems credible to us and provides new proof of life of the four French hostages kidnapped in Arlit (northern Niger) on September 16, 2010,” foreign ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said Monday, adding that the eight minutes and 42 seconds of footage were being authenticated.

In the video, released to the Mauritanian news agency ANI, Frenchman Daniel Larribe introduces himself as the head of the French group and says he was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

ANI reported on its website that he was speaking on June 27 and said he was in good health.

There was nothing to show whether the seven hostages were filmed at the same location.

The video includes statements from Arribe’s compatriots Pierre Legrand, Thierry Dol and Marc Feret as well as South African Stephen Malcolm, Dutchman Sjaak Rijke and Swede Johan Gustafsson.

“Of course we react positively every time we see that they are alive and in relatively good health,” said Legrand’s grandfather Rene Robert.

AQIM is currently thought to be holding eight Europeans hostage, including five French nationals.

Philippe Verdon, who was kidnapped in Mali in 2011 and found dead earlier this year, was executed with a shot to the head, according to French prosecutors.

Dol, Larribe, Legrand and Feret – mostly working for French public nuclear giant Areva and its subcontractor Satom – were kidnapped on September 16, 2010.

Daniel’s wife Francoise Larribe was also captured but was released in 2011.

A fifth French hostage, Serge Lazarevic, was kidnapped along with Verdon in the night of November 24, 2011 at their hotel in Hombori.

Their families have insisted they were not mercenaries or secret service agents.

French President Francois Hollande said in July that France was “doing everything” to bring the hostages back but “will not talk so as not to complicate a situation which is bad enough.”

In the video, the French hostages reportedly urge Hollande’s administration as well as family members to work for their release.

“I am in good health,” Larribe was quoted as saying by ANI in a brief statement that also referenced France’s intervention in Mali earlier this year.

France sent troops into its former colony Mali in January to repel a sweeping Islamist occupation by groups linked to Al-Qaeda including AQIM which was threatening an assault on the capital Bamako.

AQIM grew out of a movement launched in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists who sought the overthrow of the Algerian government to be replaced with Islamic rule.

The organization linked to Al-Qaeda in 2006 and has spun a tight network across tribes, clans, family and business lines that stretches across the vast Sahel region abutting the southern Sahara desert.

During the nearly year-long 2012 occupation of northern Mali – which borders Mauritania — AQIM and its allies Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) used ANI as a conduit for information.

Threats to retaliate against the French-led military intervention which ousted the Islamists have also filtered through ANI and other sites boasting a vast network of informants and correspondents in the Sahel region.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Africa , Al qaeda , Islamist , Nigeria , Terrorism , world




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • 5 years of hard work pay off for top UP grad
  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement