• Germany's news in English

Islamists threaten to behead German hostage

AFP/The Local · 24 Sep 2014, 16:25

Published: 24 Sep 2014 16:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said the German government had "heard about the report" but stressed that "threats are not an appropriate way to influence our policy in Syria and Iraq".

"There will be no change to our Syria and Iraq policy," she added.
A terrorism monitoring group reported on Tuesday that the extremists said they would kill one of two German hostages, who were captured from a sailing yacht in April, unless a 250 million pesos (€4.4 million) ransom is paid and Berlin stops supporting the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria (Isis).
US-based SITE, which monitors extremists' activities worldwide, released a picture attributed to the Abu Sayyaf group showing a masked militant with a machete beside a grey-haired white man, reportedly a German doctor.

A younger white woman, said to be the doctor's girlfriend, with close-cropped hair was also shown, while other masked men stood behind them, armed with assault rifles and machine guns.
Abu Sayyaf, a small band of Islamic militants based in the southern Philippines, vowed to kill one of two hostages if the two demands were not met within 15 days, according to SITE.
The foreign ministry spokeswoman said the German government had set up a crisis task force on the case "and we will of course continue our efforts to secure a release".
The German government has ruled out joining air strikes or any ground offensive in the fight against Isis jihadists.
But it announced late last month that it would send weapons to the Peshmerga Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq to help them fend off the militants.
It has also sent around 40 soldiers to help train the Kurdish fighters in Iraq.
The move broke a taboo in Germany which, burdened with its past aggression in two world wars, generally shies away from foreign military engagements and has never before exported weapons into war zones.
The US has carried out air strikes in both Syria and Iraq, while France has begun strikes in Iraq.
Philippine authorities had previously confirmed that Abu Sayyaf abducted a German man and woman in April as they were sailing in a yacht to the Philippines from Malaysia.
However, many news organizations refrained from reporting the abductions.

Hard to judge veracity
Philippine authorities said on Wednesday they were investigating the reported threats and photo, but could not comment further.
"It is hard for us to make a judgement on what is said, especially on social media and the veracity of this picture, until investigators are able to determine how authentic it is," military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ramon Zagala told reporters.
Abu Sayyaf, considered a "foreign terrorist organisation" by the United States, is a loose band of several hundred Islamic militants originally organized with Al-Qaeda funding in the 1990s.
It operates on remote and largely lawless southern Philippine islands that are mostly populated by the nation's Muslim minority.
Story continues below…
Abu Sayyaf has been blamed for the Philippines' worst terrorist attacks, including kidnappings, abductions and beheadings of foreign and local hostages.
It was also blamed for the bombing of a ferry on Manila Bay that killed more than 100 people in 2004.
The group is believed to be currently holding several other foreign and Filipino hostages, including two European birdwatchers abducted in February 2012.
In recent months Abu Sayyaf has uploaded videos on the Internet proclaiming its allegiance to the Islamic State group, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria.
The US military has had a rotating force of a few hundred soldiers based in the southern Philippines since 2002 to train local troops in how to combat the group.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd