The Arabic-language British paper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Friday that an Israeli citizen reported missing in Algeria has been kidnapped by Al-Qaeda. The man disappeared from a village 800 kilometers south of Algiers one week ago.
Following the report, the man made contact with his family, according to Israeli media. The man confirmed that he had been detained while in Algeria, but said he was released thanks to his foreign passport.
The Foreign Ministry declined to respond to either report.
Algerian police had told Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the man, whose identity has not been revealed, entered the country using a Spanish passport. It is unclear if the man is a dual citizen, or if the Spanish passport was forged.
Police said they were investigating the disappearance, and at the same time, are looking into the man's activities in Algeria.
According to Al-Sharq al-Awsat, the man was kidnapped by villagers and then sold to a terrorist organization linked to Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda has kidnapped several foreigners in Morocco and Algeria in recent years, and is currently holding three Europeans. The terror group usually reveals the identities of its hostages within several days of kidnapping them.
The National Security Council has cautioned Israeli citizens against traveling to Arab or Muslim countries due to fears of terrorism or kidnapping. Israelis have also been advised to avoid the Kashmir region of India, Chechnya in Russia, and the island of Mindanao in the Philippines.