The Algerian government has identified the suspects in the beheading of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel, Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Louh said Tuesday, two weeks after Gourdel was beheaded by an Algerian Islamist group. Soldiers of the Caliphate, or Jund al-Khilafa, claimed responsibility for the beheading, which was recorded and distributed.
Gourdel was kidnapped while hiking southeast of Algiers Sept. 14. Soldiers of the Caliphate announced it had captured Gourdel Monday and gave France 24 hours to call off airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, to which they pledged allegiance, or they would execute Gourdel. French President Francois Hollande refused and said France "will give in to no blackmail, no pressure, no ultimatum."
Gourdel's beheading was similar to the deaths of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley by the Islamic State. The Islamic State group also claimed those beheadings were in retaliation for American strikes against its fighters in Iraq. The FBI said last week it identified the British-accented man seen and heard in those videos, but has not released his identity.