By Kyle Herda
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
PARIS, France – A French tourist to Algeria was killed in a beheading by an Algerian jihadist group linked to the Islamic State. The group, Jund al-Khilafah, kidnapped Hervé Gourdel on Sunday, the day after he arrived in Algeria, and after putting out a video threatening Gourdel’s life if France does not stop aiding the US coalition in the Middle East, the group followed up with a video showing his alleged murder.
Facing the threat of Gourdel’s death should the bombings not cease, France insisted that it would not back down from the attacks. Following the new video depicting the beheading, French President Francois Hollande condemned the group’s actions as “cruel and cowardly.” Hollande went on to declare that “France will never give in to blackmail, to pressure, to barbaric acts… Quite to the contrary… The fight against terrorism will be pursued and accelerated as much as necessary with the respect for law.”
While it is unclear exactly what the link is between this group and ISIS, the video is a very similar style to the previous three videos released by ISIS depicting the beheadings of two Americans and one British citizen. While at least 40 nations have promised to support the move against ISIS, France has gained extra attention from the terrorist group. France was the first nation to join the United States in conducting bombings on ISIS targets in Iraq.
While past Western victims of the brutal beheading videos have been either journalists or humanitarian workers, Gourdel was merely in Algeria to hike and explore caves. While traveling through Algeria, armed militants grabbed Gourdel and took him captive. This was likely in response to the expanded airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, as over 200 missiles have already hit targets across Syria. Even though Algeria is about 2,000 miles away from Syria, Algeria is not the only country with an ISIS presence within, as Libya has also been a worry to the French.
The Islamic State has already threatened to behead yet another British aid worker, Alan Henning. This recent video signals that ISIS and their allies are not going to stop simply because other countries have decided to begin fighting back.
For more information, please see:
USA Today – Jihadist video claims beheading of French hostage – 24 September 2014
ABC – ISIS Supporters Appear to Behead French Captive – 24 September 2014
Daily News – Algerian terrorists behead kidnapped French mountain guide – 24 September 2014
New York Post – Algerian ISIS group threatens to behead French captive – 23 September 2014