An innocent 55-year-old Frenchman, Hervé Gourdel, was kidnapped by an ISIS-affiliated Algerian extremist group on Sunday, just one day after arriving for a ten day hiking vacation.
Gourdel, a mountaineering guide from Nice, was captured while he was driving through the “Djura Djura mountains in Algeria’s rugged Kabylie region, which remains one of the last active areas of operation for Al Qaeda in Algeria,” as reported by Fox News.
The group, which calls itself Jund al-Khilafah, made a video warning that they would kill Gourdel within twenty-four hours if France did not stop bombing ISIS by the end of the day, as reported by Daiy Mail.
NY Times reports that the militants in the video actually quoted the ISIS spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, encouraging his followers to kill Europeans, “especially the spiteful and filthy French wherever they could.”
The French government announced that they would not give in to the ultimatum. The prime minister, Manuel Valls, stated, “If we cede, if we retreat one inch, that would hand victory” to the militants, as reported by NY Times. France did not stop their airstrikes against the Islamic State, which brought about their second four minute 46 second video of Gourdel’s beheading. They entitled the video, “A Message in Blood for the French Government,” as revealed by Daily Mail.
The video was ironically released exactly “30 minutes after Barack Obama gave a speech vowing to destroy ISIS and its affiliates to the UN General Assembly.”
Francois Hollande, the President of France announced that “Herve Gourdel is dead because he is the representative of a people — ours — that defends human dignity against barbarity. My determination is total and this attack only reinforces it. We will continue to fight terrorism everywhere.”
A search went underway for Gourdel throughout the Djura Djura mountains as residents described the area being covered with military trucks and helicopters hoping to find Gourdel alive.
Gourdel’s elderly mother, who is in her 80’s, spoke to the press just before his murder stating that she had talked to her son, who had just arrived in Algeria for his hiking vacation, and he told her everything was fine.
President Hollande spoke to the United Nations regarding Gourdel’s abduction.
“He (Gourdel) was abducted and he was beheaded — this is what terrorism does. If we don’t respond to it, or respond too weakly, then the terrorists will continue with their undertakings of indoctrination. France will never give in to pressure, and will fight terrorism as long as necessary.”
[Photo Credit: NBCNews.com, DailyMail.co.uk]