The terror group Abu Sayyaf has threatened to kill another Western hostage if its multi-million dollar ransom demands are not met. The Philippines-based group, which has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, released a video Monday that shows Canadian Robert Hall and Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad appealing for a ransom payment by June 13.
“I appeal to my government and the Philippine government, as I have appealed before, for help,” Hall said in the new video, Agence France-Press reported.
In the video captioned by the SITE Intelligence Group, Hall and Sekkingstad said Abu Sayyaf has threatened to kill one of them if a ransom payment of $12.8 million is not received by June 13.
— Terrormonitor.org (@Terror_Monitor) May 16, 2016
Abu Sayyaf beheaded Canadian citizen John Ridsdel in April after a ransom deadline passed. Ridsdel was taken hostage in September. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ridsdel's beheading was “an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage.”
Trudeau declined to comment on whether or not the Canadian government has tried to talk with or negotiate with the terror group. The United States government, for example, refuses to pay any ransom payments to terror groups.
Ridsdel, Hall, Sekkingstad and Hall’s girlfriend were all abducted on Samal island from a resort in 2015. Abu Sayyaf operates hundreds of miles from the island, raising concerns that the group is expanding its reach.
Abu Sayyaf released 10 Indonesian hostages earlier this month. The sailors were captured in March and it remains unclear if a ransom payment was made by the Indonesian government, the New York Times reported.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino said in April Abu Sayyaf’s captives appear to be under the group's leader Raddulan Sahiron. Sahiron became leader of Abu Sayyaf in 2005. The whole group is believed to be comprised of a few hundred members.
“Even as it poses as a group of Islamic freedom fighters ... Abu Sayyaf has behaved as criminals focused on enriching themselves by taking hostages for ransom,” Aquino said, CNN reported.
Rodrigo Duterte, president-elect of the Philippines, has said he will reopen peace talks with Abu Sayyaf when he takes office June 30.
“We don’t go to war with our own people but at one time, I would ask them to release the hostages,” Duterte said Monday.