Abu Sayyaf Islamic militants in southern Philippines have threatened to behead one of two German hostages if Berlin fails to pay a P250 million ransom, as well as stopping all support for U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The terrorist group has set a deadline of October 10th for Germany to comply with their demands.
Mindanao Examiner (h/t Maria J) The demands was contained in a letter sent by Abu Rami and a copy was posted on the website “World Analysis,” a nonpartisan, open-source information resource for geopolitical events worldwide, run by Canadian Casey Britton, a former private investigator and information systems developer.
Tsite also showed three photos of two German yachters – Stefan Viktor Okonek, 71, and Herike Diesen, 55, (below) – who disappeared at sea off Palawan Island in the Philippines.
The duo was surrounded by masked gunmen, one of them brandishing a bolo while grabbing the shirt of the terrified Okonek. One of the photos had been shared on Facebook in August. It shows Okonek and Diesen behind a German flag and surrounded by at least 10 gunmen in a forest, and a black flag with an Arabic inscription can be seen in the background.
The letter reads: “The Abu Sayyaf is warning the families of the hostages and the German government, and the Philippine government – first, you give us our demand of P250 million up to October 10, 2014 – or we will behead one of the hostage; secondly, Germany must cease its support to America on the killings of our brother Muslims in Iraq and Sham (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine), and our brother mujahedeen.”
It was signed by Abu Raami. The letter and the photos can be accessed on this URL: http://worldanalysis.net/14/2014/09/abu-sayyaf-family-two-hostages-government-germany-philippines. The duo was snatched at sea on April 25 while heading to Sabah from a holiday in Palawan and they were reported missing after Filipino fishermen spotted their empty yacht.
There was no immediate statement from Manila, but President Benigno Aquino has recently met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his European swing. It was unknown if Aquino and Merkel discussed the hostage crisis.
The Abu Sayyaf is still holding several foreigners and Filipinos kidnapped in southern Philippines. Among them were two European wildlife photographers Ewold Horn, 52, from Holland; and Lorenzo Vinciguerre, 47, from Switzerland, who were taken captive by in the coastal village of Parangan in Panglima Sugala town in the southern Tawi-Tawi province two years ago.