German Hostage Beheaded By Filipino Group

In the video, 70-year-old Juergen Gustav Kantner is executed after a deadline for a ransom payment had passed

Kantner had already been kidnapped before, by Somali pirates in 2008, and was released. — REUTERS
Feb 27, 2017 at 10:40 AM ET

Filipino-based terror group Abu Sayyaf has released a video purportedly showing a German hostage being executed after a deadline for his ransom expired over the weekend. The video, circulated on social media, shows 70-year-old Juergen Gustav Kantner saying in English: “Now they kill me” before he is executed.

Foreign Minister for the Philippines Perfecto Yasay said Monday that Kantner may have been executed because he was sick. He asked for the country’s allies to use their technology to locate the remaining hostages, adamant that his government would stick to its policy of not paying ransom to kidnappers.

Local media in the Philippines reported that Kantner was captured last November and that Abu Sayyaf had demanded 30 million Filipino Peso (US$594,000) for his release. According to reporting, Kantner was abducted while on a cruise with his wife who was killed when she tried to fight her kidnappers. They had previously been abducted in Somalia in 2008 and held for 52 days before they were freed for ransom.

The Associated Press reported in November that Abu Sayyaf, known for kidnapping sailors from neighboring countries for ransom, has pocketed at least 353 million pesos ($7.3 million) from six ransom kidnappings involving 21 people in the first six months of 2016. One of Abu Sayyaf’s battalions pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2016.