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Issue 437 -- June 12- 18, 2010
Somali Rebels Release Video Of French Hostage
New video (shown below, in an edited, YouTube-friendly version) has surfaced of a French “security advisor” kidnapped in Somalia by al-Shabaab in 2009.
Denis Allex was taken hostage in Mogadishu in July 2009 along with a second French citizen. The other hostage, Marc Aubriere, was taken hostage by another organization — Hezb al-Islam. Aubriere subsequently escaped (or, according to alternate narratives, was ransomed). Allex has remained in al-Shabaab custody since.
The approximately five-minute-long video started making its way around Islamist websites yesterday. Al-Shabaab, media savvy as always, released teasers of the upcoming French hostage vid through the Germany-based Global Islamic Media Front.
The GIMF uses a cast of constantly-changing free blogs from Blogspot, Wordpress and other providers aimed at disseminating pro-jihadist information and propaganda. One of their older German-language blogs is viewable here.
GIMF released Allex’s video, which has French audio with Arabic subtitles.
AFP offers a fine rundown of Allex’s prepared statement, which is read off of paper in the presence of four armed and masked men. Allex appears to be making the video under duress:
The Frenchman cited the demands of his captors, Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-inspired Shebab rebels, which include the immediate end to any political and military support from France for the Somali government and the withdrawal of all foreign advisors and private security firms in Somalia.
The kidnappers “don’t physically abuse me,” Allex said, but added that he was still suffering psychologically.
The group also demanded the release of “mujahedeen” prisoners held in countries who will be identified later, the hostage read.
He also mentioned the results of France’s regional elections on March 21, in a sign that the video must have been recorded since then.
The captive called himself the victim of what he said was Paris’s policy of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.
A much more detailed rundown of Allex’s statement is available at Paris Match (Français).
The SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors jihadist bulletin boards, repacked the video for the media.
Here is the video: