ISIL-Linked Group Kidnaps French National In Eastern Algeria
A terrorist group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) kidnapped a French national in eastern Algeria, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday.
In a statement released by French Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandre Georgini, he said the French man was taken in Algerian while he was on vacation.
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Following the announcement of the foreign ministry about the kidnapping, the militant group released a video threatening to kill the French national who identified himself as Herve Gourdel, 55, if Paris continued with its involvement in the conflict in Iraq.
Gourdel was reportedly taken from Nice, France on Sunday.
According to Fabius, the video showed Gourdel in between two armed men demanding that France halt its Iraq intervention.
The video has been analyzed and was confirmed to be authentic, according to the French foreign ministry.
In a statement released by the foreign minister, he said they will take any measures necessary for the release of Gourdel, but maintained that the situation was "extremely critical."
The kidnapping happened following a message by ISIL spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani ordering its followers to target France, the United States and other countries, which launched an attack against the militant group in Iraq.
According to a report by APS, a state news agency in Algeria, Gourdel was described as a mountain guide and was traveling with several Algerian nationals when he was taken in the Ait Ouabane village.
On Friday, France launched air strikes in Iraq, targeting the base camps of the militant group.
Following the announcement of the kidnapping, the French government on Monday raised the threat level on its embassies in Africa and the Middle East.
Based on a statement released by French President Francois Holland regarding his talk with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal, both countries will coordinate with each other to find and free Gourdel.