Al-Qaeda group claims responsibility for Mali kidnappings

A statement from a group identifying itself as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of five Europeans in Mali in two separate incidents, the Site monitoring group said on Sunday.

The message, posted along with pictures of the victims on Jihadi forums, identified two French nationals and “identified three others as Europeans but didn’t indicate their nationality,” said Site in a statement.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said the kidnappings were a revenge act for the “repeated aggression” of France in the region and the “continuous foolish policies” of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

They denied involvement in the abduction of three Europeans in Algeria that was claimed on Saturday by an AQIM splinter group.

AQIM, addressing Sarkozy directly, said in the statement released by Site: “So, if you want, you have the ability to preserve their lives and release them as soon as you respond to the legitimate demands of the mujahedeen; and if you want, you have the ability to kill them, whether by refusing or by being hasty and committing another uncalculated foolishness.”

Splinter group
The Mauritanian news agency ANI had previously carried pictures of the abducted five Westerners claimed by AQIM.

One photo showed French nationals Serge Lazarevic and Philippe Verdon with three armed men behind them, their faces obscured by turbans.

The other showed a Dutch national, a Swede and a man with dual British-South African nationality surrounded by four armed men, their faces similarly masked.

The group, in the statement, denied kidnapping two Spanish nationals and an Italian from a refugee camp in Algeria in a separate incident that has been claimed by a group which said it had broken away from AQIM.

On Saturday, that off-shoot group — calling itself the Jamat Tawhid Wal Jihad Fi Garbi Afriqqiya in West Africa — claimed the October kidnapping in an audio and written message sent to Agence France-Presse’s correspondent in Bamako.

Quick windfall
Security sources in the region have recently spoken of the formation of the breakaway group which means “Unity Movement for Jihad in West Africa”.

The kidnapping of tourists in the region, which began in 2003 when 32 German and Swiss travellers were seized in southern Algeria, has become big business for local people looking to sell a foreigner to AQIM for a quick windfall.

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 organisation linked to al-Qaeda in 2006.

These militant Islamists have spun a tight network across tribes, clans, family and business lines that stretch across the Sahel. — AFP

Staff Reporter
Guest Author
Advertisting

Salie-Hlophe accuses Goliath of lying and racism

In response to Goliath’s gross misconduct complaint, Salie-Hlophe says Goliath has ‘an unhealthy obsession with my marriage’

Treasury is still seeking SAA funds

The government has committed an additional R2-billion to the airline, but has yet to pay it out

‘There were no marks on his neck’, Neil Aggett inquest...

The trade unionist’s partner at the time he was detained at John Vorster Square says she now believes his death was not a suicide
Advertising

Press Releases

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

UK-Africa investment summit 2020: Think Africa Invest SA

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.