Islamic State demands ransom for Norwegian, Chinese captives

IRAQ-UNREST-IS-BAGHDADI-CALIPH

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, was head of Islamic State

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, is head of Islamic State
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, aka Caliph Ibrahim, is head of Islamic State

Islamic State has claimed that it is holding two captives, one Norwegian and one Chinese, and is offering to release them in return for a ransom.

The extremist group disclosed this on Thursday in the latest edition of its Dabiq English-language magazine.

The family of the Norwegian hostage identified as Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, said in a statement conveyed via the Norwegian Foreign Ministry that they had “no means of raising the huge sum demanded by the hostage-takers.

“We can only appeal to the hostage-takers to release our son and brother.

He said Islamic State posted the names, dates of birth, occupations and educational information of the two captives, along with photos, which were circulating widely on social media as two separate posters.

The family member said the posters listed an Iraqi telephone number to contact for negotiations.

“Whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer can contact the following telegram number,” each poster said, saying the offer was for a “limited time”.

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The Chinese national was named as Fan Jinghui, born 1965.

Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, confirmed that sizeable ransom had been demanded for a citizen.

She insisted that her country doesn’t pay ransom, which she said, would put other Norwegians at risk.

Finance Minister Siv Jensen backed the premier’s stance, saying “we can’t give in to pressure from terrorists and criminals.

Islamic State has posted online the beheading of several foreign nationals, including aid workers and journalists, in Syria.

The group and its affiliates in other areas have also posted other gory footage of executions, including mass killings of Christian hostages.

The group has released some European hostages after ransoms were paid.