A French national kidnapped in Algeria appears in a video saying he has been kidnapped by an Algeria-based Islamic State offshoot. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A French man kidnapped in Algeria appeared in a hostage video on Monday (September 22) in which his kidnappers threatened to kill him if Paris did not halt its intervention in Iraq. The Caliphate Soldiers, a group linked to Islamic State militants, published a video on the Internet soon after the French ministry announcement that a French national had been kidnapped in eastern Algeria on Sunday. The IS-linked group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, showing a man who identified himself as Herve Gourdel, 55, from Nice in southern France. The video that appeared on YouTube and Islamic State Twitter accounts on Monday was entitled "A message from the Caliphate Soldiers in Algeria to the dog Hollande." The Caliphate Soldiers said in a statement on Sept. 14 it had split from AQIM and sworn loyalty to the Islamic State. The video shows Gourdel sitting next to two armed gunmen in black turbans and carrying assault rifles. One of the armed men sitting next to Gourdel said, "We give a timeframe to Hollande, the president of the criminal country of France, to stop its assault on the Islamic State during the next 24-hours from the issuance of this statement; otherwise, the fate of its citizens will be that of (inaudible)…, which is slaughter. If you want to [preserve] his life, then you must officially announce in a broadcast of a halt to your assault on the Islamic State." The Frenchman then spoke on the video and asked French President Francois Hollande for help. "I am in the hands of Jund al-Khilifa (Caliphate Soldiers), an Algerian armed group. This armed group is asking me to ask you (President Hollande) to not intervene in Iraq. They are holding me as a hostage and I ask you Mr. President to do everything to get me out of this bad situation. I thank you," the man identified as Gourdel said. Gourdel's friends and relatives confirmed to a Reuters reporter in Nice that the man in the video was Gourdel. The French foreign ministry later confirmed the video was authentic.