"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Monday, October 20, 2014

Filipino Islamists Claim $5.6M Ransom Paid for German Hostages

Money Talks Louder Than Allah

Islamist militants who captured and held two Germans on a remote island in the Philippines for six months claim they were paid a large ransom in exchange for their release over the weekend.
Stefan Okonek and Henrike Dielen were released by the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group Friday evening and flown to the German embassy in Manila Saturday morning, a Filipino military official said. The pair were filmed in a video at the embassy appearing frail but smiling, which was later posted to social media.
Friday afternoon before the hostages were released, the kidnappers had threatened to behead Okonek unless a 250 million pesos ($5.6 million) ransom was paid. They also asked Germany to immediately stop supporting US-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq reports Vice News.
Later that day, Abu Sayyaf spokesman, Abu Rami, told a radio station based in southern Zamboanga City that the group had obtained the full ransom amount and freed the hostages.
"The (money) arrived, nothing more, nothing less," he said.
The government of the Philippines has remained officially silent on the exchange, except to confirm that Okonek and Dielen were released outside Patikul at around 8:50pm Friday and taken to a local police station. They were later transferred by navy ship to Zamboanga, where they spent the night under observation in a military hospital.

Allah Akbar

Members of the Islamist extremist group Abu Sayyaf. 
Photograph: Rey Bayoging/Associated Press

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