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Islamic State militants offers prisoners ‘for sale’

By Tajuddin
In SPOTLIGHT
Sep 10th, 2015
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Islamic State Fighters in Syria

Islamic State Fighters in Syria

Oslo, Norway ( Agencies + DIPLOMAT.SO) – The Norwegian government has confirmed a man in his forties has been taken hostage by the Islamic State group after being kidnapped in January this year.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg said crisis teams are in “full swing” to bring him home but “this is a very challenging case.”

“Norway does not pay ransom. This is a principle we cannot deviate in the face of cynical terrorists.”

The statement comes after the Islamic State placed two full-page advertisements in its latest propaganda magazine Dabiq, saying Norway’s Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and China’s Fan Jinghui were on offer “for sale”.

Wearing the brightly-coloured jumpsuits that have become the hallmark of the group, the two men appeared with a message below them that read:

“To whom it may concern of the pagans, crusaders, and their allies, as well as what are referred to as human ‘rights’ organisations; this (Norwegian/Chinese) prisoner was abandoned by his government, which did not do its utmost to purchase his freedom.”

Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, Norway, left, and Fan Jinghui, 50, from Beijing, China have been taken hostage by the Islamic State and are offered “for sale” according to the group

Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, from Oslo, Norway, left, and Fan Jinghui, 50, from Beijing, China have been taken hostage by the Islamic State and are offered “for sale” according to the group

A telephone number for “whoever would like to pay the ransom” is listed below, with the warning that its for a “limited time offer”.

Mr Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, is a political science graduate who lived in Oslo. While no circumstances of his capture were released and the information cannot be independently verified, his social media profiles including YouTube and Facebook accounts show he had been in Syria in January and liked a number of videos related to conflict in the country.

Little is known about Fan Jinghui, 50, whose is thought to live in Beijing and work as a freelance consultant.

No sum was listed by the kidnappers, however Ms Solberg said they have received demands for a “significant” amount.

“We neither can nor will give in to pressure from terrorists and criminals,” she said.

“We are also bound by international law and UN resolutions to counter terrorist financing.

“Unfortunately, the attention of the organisation are now getting in Norway be just what they want.”

The Chinese government is yet to respond.

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