Islamic State-linked terrorists executed an elderly German captive after the ransom deadline passed.
Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic militant organization operating in the Philippines, released a video of the execution, during which the militants beheaded Jurgen Kantner with a machete, Reuters reports.
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Kantner, 70, and his companion were captured in November while sailing near Sabah, Malaysia. His companion was shot and killed trying to resist.
He was kept on Jolo, an island in the southern Philippines, which is overrun with Islamic militant groups. The brutal Abu Sayaff group demanded $600,000 for Kantner’s release. In two short video messages, he appealed to authorities, stating the militants would murder him if the money was not paid on time.
Officials in the Philippines attempted to rescue Kantner but were unsuccessful. The German embassy in the Philippines confirmed Monday that Kantner was killed.
“Up to the last moment, many sectors, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines, exhausted all efforts to save his life. We all tried our best. But to no avail,”chief presidential peace adviser secretary Jesus Dureza told reporters.
Kantner is the the third foreigner Abu Sayyaf has beheaded over the past 10 months. Two Canadians — Robert Hall and John Ridsdel — were decapitated last year.
Abu Sayyaf, which has sworn allegiance to ISIS, is a kidnap-for-ransom group that has engaged in horrible acts of terrorism, including a few deadly bombings, across the Philippines. Over the years, the group has managed to bring in tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments. The group has a tendency to abduct its victims, almost exclusively foreign nationals, at sea, where they are much more vulnerable to attack.
The Islamic militants are believed to still be in possession of an estimated 26 hostages from six different countries.
The Philippine government has condemned Kantner’s beheading as “barbaric.”
“We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim,” explained Dureza. “Terrorism has no place in a country like ours and we as a people must confront violent extremism every time it rears its ugly head. There must be a stop to this killing of the innocent and the helpless.”
The Philippines, under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, is engaged in an all-out offensive against Abu Sayyaf, a group that has been a destabilizing force in the Philippines for many years.
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