A group of Filipino jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) has released a second video demanding $100 million for the release of four hostages — including two Canadian men — who they abducted from a luxury vacation spot in the Philippines in September.
The video, posted on the SITE Intelligence group’s website on Tuesday, shows the hostages sitting on the ground in front of several armed Abu Sayyaf militants and a large IS flag.
“These people are serious and very treacherous,” pleads Canadian Robert Hall as one man holds a machete near his throat and yanks his head back. “Take them seriously. Help us, get us out of here.”
John Ridsdel, the other Canadian, appeals to Canada’s prime minister to “please pay this ransom as soon as possible, or our lives are in great danger.”
The other hostages, Hall’s girlfriend, a Filipino woman reportedly named Marites Flor, and Norwegian man Kjartan Sekkingstad, appear silent. At the end of the 90-second video, the group of fighters chant together.
Last month, Abu Sayyaf, listed as a terrorist group by the Canadian government, released its first video in which the captors insist the Canadian government cease military operations and cooperate with them.
“Number one, there must be no military operation, there must be no artillery attack, in all this harmful against us,” said one man whose face was covered with a scarf and sunglasses. “Once you meet our requirements, then we can talk about negotiation and demand.”
Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs has been tight-lipped about the case, but according to the National Post it has said that it was “pursuing all appropriate channels to seek further information.” Saying anything, the department added, further might “compromise ongoing efforts and risk endangering the safety of Canadian citizens.”
The group of hostages was taken at gunpoint from a marina on Samal Island in the south, close to Mindanao, which has recently seen a surge in violence at the hands of Muslim extremists and communist groups, according to the Globe and Mail.
Al-Qaeda-inspired Abu Sayyaf was founded in 1991, and recently pledged its allegiance to IS. The National Counterterrorism Center describes the group, which has an estimated 400 fighters, as “the most violent of the Islamic separatist groups operating in the southern Philippines.”
The group has a history of violence and kidnapped 10 westerners in 2000, and three more Americans in 2001.
Earlier this week, the remains of an elderly South Korean man the group reportedly took hostage in January were found in a sack near a suspected militant base.