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Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel

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Algeria: ISIL offshoot releases video threatening French hostage Hervé Gourdel


“President François Hollande, I am Hervé Gourdel, a mountain guide from the French town of Nice,” says the man in a video purported to be the work of an ISIL splinter group known as the Caliphate Soldiers.

He goes on to ask the French government to secure his release and not to intervene in the Iraqi conflict.

Masked men seen in the new video give the French government 24 hours to stop its offensive against ISIL, otherwise Gourdel “will be beheaded”.

The French foreign ministry has confirmed the video’s authenticity.

“We confirm the authenticity of the video showing images of French hostage Hervé Gourdel, kidnapped in Algeria in the region of Tizi Ouzou on Sunday (September 21). The threats made by this terrorist group show once again the extreme cruelty of Daech (Islamic State/ISIL) and those who say they are affiliated to it,” the ministry said in a statement.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius added that France would not capitulate to threats.

“Our security is at stake, but we’re not going to give in to terrorist threats,” he said. “Everything is being done, in close cooperation with the Algerian authorities, to obtain the release of our compatriot. But we must not hide the fact that the situation is extremely critical.”

Gourdel was kidnapped while trekking in the Algerian province of Tizi Ouzou.

He was apparently taken within hours of the release of an ISIL recording urging followers to target the West, “especially the spiteful and filthy French”.

French President François Hollande recently announced France would join the campaign against the Islamist group’s Iraqi faction, by launching airstrikes against ISIL targets.

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