A newly released video shows an al Qaeda splinter group in Algeria beheading a French citizen, days after giving French President Francois Hollande a 24-hour deadline to stop airstrikes against ISIS. Hollande confirmed the killing in an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.
The group, which calls itself Jund al-Khilafah — Soldiers of the Caliphate — had issued the deadline threatening the life of Frenchman Herve Gourdel, 55, in another video that appeared on social media Monday.
“Today I am speaking before you with a particularly high level of emotion because one of my compatriots has just been the subject of a cowardly assassination in Algeria,” Hollande said. “He was abducted and he was beheaded. This is what terrorism does.”
He went on to say that terrorists also kill Muslims and minorities. “They rape. They kill. It is for this reason that the fight that the international community needs to wage against terrorism knows no borders,” he said.
France's forces joined the U.S. in executing airstrikes on Sept. 19 against ISIS, the militant extremist group that has overrun parts of Syria and Iraq.
The Soldiers of the Caliphate pledge allegiance to the leader of ISIS, which recently beheaded two Americans, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and a Briton, David Haines. They have threatened the life of another Briton, Alan Henning.
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— Elizabeth Chuck