Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has announced that the terrorist group the Islamic State (ISIS) kidnapped Raad Mohamed Al-Azaoui, an Iraqi journalist, on September 7. The jihadist group is threatening to behead him if he does not agree to work for them.
“The Islamic State since its emergence has made journalists a terror target,” said the organization’s assistant research director Virginie Dangles. “The terrorist organization, in setting up an apparatus for kidnapping and executing news professionals, is attempting to eliminate all those who refuse to swear allegiance to ISIS.”
ISIS kidnapped Al-Azaoui and 20 Iraqis in Samara, just north of Baghdad. The organization is worried about him since the terrorists are known to abduct and murder journalists. In one of their most graphic releases, the group published videos of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff beheaded by an Islamic State jihadist.
Tarek Salah Shankali, a journalist and Yazidi activist, was kidnapped on August 13. Sources close to him say ISIS murdered him, but others claim he is still alive. They also captured Ahmed Khaled Al-Dlimi in Tikrit, but RWB does not know his status.
Iraq’s Journalistic Freedoms Observatory claimed ISIS told nine journalists in Mosul and Salahuddin to “stop their professional activities and join ISIS ranks or face execution.” There are reports ISIS stole personal attention about the journalists, as well. UNESCO director for Iraq, Axel Balat, asked for the government to protect Iraqi journalists after ISIS attacked Al-Hurra correspondent Maitham Al-Chibani’s home.