France Confirms Kidnapping in Algeria

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirms that a French man has been kidnapped in Algeria by a group linked to IS.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Laurent Fabius
Laurent Fabius

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed on Monday night that a French man has been kidnapped in Algeria by a group linked to the “Islamic State” (IS).

The man, Herve Gourdel, was seized on Sunday in the unsettled north-east Kabylie area.

Fabius said, according to BBC News, that an online video that showed Gourdel flanked by armed men, calling on France not to strike IS in Iraq, appeared authentic.

He said France would do everything it could to liberate Gourdel, but that the situation was "extremely critical."

Earlier, Islamic State terrorists warned they would target France - and other countries - after French jets launched air strikes in Iraq against the group.

IS jihadists have seized large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes this year.

"We confirm the authenticity of the video showing images of French hostage Herve Gourdel, kidnapped in Algeria in the region of Tizi Ozou on Sunday," France's foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by BBC.

"The threats made by this terrorist group shows once again the extreme cruelty of [Islamic State] and those who say they are affiliated to it."

Speaking in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly, Fabius told reporters, "We will do everything we can to liberate hostages... but a terrorist group cannot change France's position."

The terrorists in the video said they are members of the Algerian group Jund al-Khilifa, also known as Soldiers of the Caliphate.

The group has pledged allegiance to IS. Some reports have also described it as an Al-Qaeda splinter group.

The apparent kidnappers threatened to kill Gourdel unless France ended its military operation against IS.

Islamic State has released videos showing the execution of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as a video showing the murder of David Haines, a British aid worker. 

Last week, the group released a new video of a British journalist, John Cantlie, asking for negotiations to take place for his release.

It is already known that there are IS “copycats” in Egypt, mainly the Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis group which has beheaded several people in the Sinai Peninsula, similar to what IS does.