A Colombian nun held hostage by al-Qaeda’s branch in the African country of Mali is purportedly shown begging for Pope Francis to help liberate her in a video released by the jihadist group, reveals the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors jihadi websites.
“Al-Qaeda’s Mali branch releases proof-of-life video of Colombian captive addressing Pope Francis for help,” reports SITE.
In the footage, Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (NIM), al-Qaeda’s wing in faction, features “Colombian missionary Gloria Cecilia Narvaez Argotry, wherein she appeals to Pope Francis to intercede on her behalf,” reveals the monitor group.
Al-Qaeda’s Mali Branch Releases Proof-of-Life Video of Colombian Captive Addressing Pope Francis for Help https://t.co/oC1Ls5Avcx
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) January 29, 2018
The video was reportedly released at the end of January by a Mali-based faction affiliated with al-Qaeda, which claims to have kidnapped the nun for “preaching Christianity and supporting the crusaders in Mali.”
In the footage, the Catholic missionary Narvaez from Colombia is seen appealing to Pope Francis.
The Franciscan nun beseeches the earthly leader of the Catholic faith, Pope Francis, to help her, saying, “I ask you to help with my freedom and do the impossible and get them to release me.”
Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists captured the Colombian nun near the Mali and Burkina Faso border nearly a year ago—on February 7, 2017, notes the Daily Mail.
The kidnappers have been identified as members of the West Africa-based NIM, known in English as Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM).
A video released in July, prior to French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to France’s former colony Mali, also features the nun, reports the Daily Mail.
The al-Qaeda affiliate has reportedly requested money for Narvaez’ release, urging her family to send the funds while noting that other hostages have been liberated following payouts
At the end of the recently released footage, the jihadist group quotes the late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, saying, “Just like you kill us, we will kill you. As you imprison us, we will imprison you.”
The Mali jihadists have been active in recent months as the North African-based al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is allegedly facing a “slow death” at the hands of Algerian security forces.
Al-Qaeda’s Mali branch “claimed credit for the January 27, 2018, raid on the Malian army base in town of Soumpi in Timbuktu region, and provided photos of the captured photos of the captured war spoils, and also took responsibility for attacks on French and MINUSMA [United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali] forces,” reports SITE.
Meanwhile, Middle East Eye (MEE) points out, “Paralyzed, divided and harassed by the army, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb cuts and runs to Tunisia, Libya, and the Sahel.”