Newly surfaced video footage, reportedly released by the Filipino jihadist group Abu Sayyaf, purportedly shows three hostages pleading for their life and the decapitation of a fellow captive.
In a video circulated Tuesday by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites, terrified fellow hostages are shown sitting on the floor, surrounded by six armed terrorists as they pleaded for their lives to their governments, friends, politicians and even celebrities to save them.
The jihadists declared in mid-April that they would behead the captives unless an estimated $6.3 million in ransom was paid per hostage by the the 25th of that month.
CNN reports that one jihadi was wearing a mask and he was the only one to address the camera. The masked terrorist reportedly warned Canada and the Philippines that the three remaining hostages would be decapitated “if you procrastinate once again” on meeting their demands.
The video has surfaced on social media as well as being sent to media outlets.
WARNING: Graphic Content:
In September 2015, the Philippines-based Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), took hostage Canadians John Ridsdel, Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, and Filipino Marites Flor from the Southeast Asian country’s Samal Island.
Hall is shown in the video urging the Philippines government, which has launched an offensive against Abu Sayyaf, to “stop shooting at us and trying to kill us. These guys are going to do a good job of that,” BBC reports.
“If the demand is not met we will be executed like our friend John was a few days ago,” Sekkingstad is shown saying.
“We want to be freed alive,” adds Flor, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The April 25th deadline came to pass, and Canadian businessman John Ridsdel was beheaded, a brutal scene that was part of a sickening video released by Abu Sayyaf and made public by SITE on Tuesday.
Various news outlets report that the Philippines and Canada have decided against paying the ransom, refusing to negotiate with terrorists.
“Operations against Abu Sayyaf were stepped up in the wake of Ridsdel’s murder,” reports CNN.
The cable news outlet quoted Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende as saying Norway would continue “ongoing efforts to find a solution for the remaining hostages,” following the death of the Canadian captive.
The Philippine military, backed by its American counterpart in the form of trainers, has tried to take out the group numerous times, but has been unsuccessful.
“Since 2014, when its commanders started swearing allegiance to so-called Islamic State, Abu Sayyaf has intensified its drive to kidnap hostages for multi-million dollar ransoms, mimicking the practices of Islamist terror groups in the Middle East by issuing hostage plea videos with threats of beheading,” notes the BBC analysis.
“The large sums of money involved both then and since have led to accusations that Abu Sayyaf are really more interested in money than religion but their link to [ISIS], however tenuous, appears to have only increased their fanaticism,” it adds