Philippine Terror Group Beheads Canadian Hostage

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A Philippino Islamist terror group, which backs the Islamic State, beheaded a Canadian hostage April 25 after the demanded ransom of $6.5 million was not paid.

The head of Canadian tourist and former mining executive John Ridsdel, 68, was found stuffed in a plastic bag on the remote Samal Island in the southern Philippines, five hours after the deadline passed.

The terror organization Abu Sayyaf has waged a brutal campaign for decades in the majority Catholic country and is currently holding captive at least 20 other foreigners — one from the Netherlands, one from Japan, four Malaysians and 14 Indonesians from a tugboat crew.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the killing saying, “Canada condemns without reservation the brutality of the hostage takers and this unnecessary death. This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage."

Abu Sayyaf is a designated terrorist organization in Canada, the U.S. and other Western countries. It formed in the early 1990s as an offshoot of a separatist movement by Moro Muslims in the south of the Philippines.

A previous video released by the group showed Ridsdel pleading for his life, asking Canada to pay the ransom, or he and others would be killed.

"To my family and, this is so much bigger, to the Canadian prime minister, Canadian people and the world, please do what is needed to meet their demands within one month or they will kill me and they will execute us," Ridsdel said.

An Italian priest, held hostage by the group for six months, was freed last month. Based on news reports in the Philippines, it is believed that a ransom of $630,000 was paid. The Italian foreign minister thanked the Philippine government for its "excellent cooperation and commitment, which allowed the release" of Rolando del Torchio.

The priest, suffering from poor health, was found on a ferry at the port of Jolo and taken for medical treatment.

Abu Sayyaf pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014.

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org