The Islamic State announced the murder of two hostages in the latest issue of its Dabiq magazine, Fan Jinghui of China and Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad of Norway.
Displaying what appeared to be the corpses of the two men, ISIS declared they were “executed after being abandoned by kafir nations and organizations” – in other words, the infidels did not pay the ransom demanded by their captors.
Both the Norwegian and Chinese governments were initially reluctant to confirm the deaths of the hostages, with China going so far as to briefly remove reports of Fan Jinghui’s death from state-run media.
However, Chinese president Xi Jinping seemed to accept the reality of the first ISIS execution of a Chinese national during comments at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, offering “condolences to the victim’s family members” and condemning the killing.
Fan Jinghui, a Chinese citizen, was kidnapped and cruelly killed by the Islamic State extremist group. We express our condolences to the victim and sympathy to his family.
The Chinese government and people have been very concerned about Fan Jinghui’s safety since he was kidnapped. Relevant departments of the Chinese government activated emergency response mechanism upon learning the kidnapping and made all-out efforts to rescue him. However, with no regard for human conscience and moral baseline, the terrorist organization still carried out this cold-blooded and violent action. The Chinese government strongly condemns this inhuman action and will definitely hold the perpetrators accountable.
Terrorism is the common enemy faced by all humanity. The Chinese government opposes all forms of terrorism and firmly cracks down on any violent and terrorist crime that challenges the baseline of human civilization. The Chinese side will continue to enhance counter-terrorism cooperation with the international community and safeguard world peace and tranquility.
It remains to be seen what this “enhanced counter-terrorism cooperation” will mean in practice, as the Chinese have not been active in fighting the Islamic State thus far, and CNN quotes experts who say military involvement would be impractical, contrary to Beijing’s foreign policy, and perhaps likely to “increase the chances of a Paris-style attack in China.”
The CNN report goes on to note that Norway also condemned the killings, with their Foreign Minister, Boerge Brende, saying his government has “no grounds to doubt the content of the photos that have been published.”
Not much is known about how Fan was captured by ISIS, or what he was doing in the conflict zone.