Jund al-Khilifa, an Algerian jihadist group that recently broke away from al-Qaeda to join the Islamic State, has threatened to execute a French hostage within the next 24 hours unless the French government halts its airstrikes in Iraq, against the Islamic State.
An Algerian ex-al-Qaeda affiliate and Islamic State-linked jihadist group, Jund al-Khilifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate), has threatened to execute a French hostage their hold in the next 24 hours, should the French government not halt airstrikes against their fellow IS fighters in Iraq. Soldiers from the group stated, in a video released on Monday, that “It is up to Hollande, president of the criminal French state, to halt the attacks on the Islamic State within 24 hours of this statement, otherwise his national Herve Gourdel will have his throat slit,”.
The captured French national, Herve Pierre Gourdel, was seen squatting on the ground – with two armed militants flanking him, each with Kalashnikov rifles. He stated that he was a native of southern France’s Nice and was working as a mountain guide, having only arrived in Algeria on Saturday. He was reportedly seized while out walking with local Algerian friends.
The video’s release comes as France launched its first airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq on Friday. Although Jund al-Khilifa are based in Algeria, far from Iraq and the site of these airstrikes, they recently publicly broke away from previous al-Qaeda ties and declared their full allegiance to their “brethren” in Iraq and Syria. These actions are just another step in the Islamic State’s plan to create a hardline Islamic caliphate, encompassing much of Europe, the Middle East and Asia.