Kidnapping infidels and releasing them for ransom is big business — and it’s fully sanctioned in Islamic law: “As for the captives, the amir [ruler] has the choice of taking the most beneficial action of four possibilities: the first to put them to death by cutting their necks; the second, to enslave them and apply the laws of slavery regarding their sale and manumission; the third, to ransom them in exchange for goods or prisoners; and fourth, to show favor to them and pardon them. Allah, may he be exalted, says, ‘When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks’ (Qur’an sura 47, verse 4)” “” Abu”l-Hasan al-Mawardi, al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance), trans. by Dr. Asadullah Yate, (London), Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 1996, p. 192.
“Islamists willing to pay tens of thousands for westerner kidnappings,” by Lyndsey Smith and Michael Sandelson in The Foreigner, January 22 (thanks to Twostellas):
Extremists offered criminals some USD 45,000 bounties for kidnapping western nationals in the area surrounding Mali and Algeria. Ransom demands could have recently included Statoil employees, reports suggest.
A “˜Wikileaked” document shows that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were among those offering bounties.
Mokthar Belmokhtar, the man behind the recent attack on Statoil”s In AmÃ©nas gas plant, which Algerian authorities now say left 37 foreign personnel from eight countries dead, is reported to have belonged to AQIM up until December 2012.
The same document also reports that Belmokhtar allegedly gave specific instructions these kidnap-for-ransoms should not included [sic] American citizens “for fear of retribution from the [US] government.”
“AQIM had offered a bounty of approximately $45,000 to any traffickers and bandits in northern Mali who kidnapped non-American Westerners,” shows the US State Department security report, which Aftenposten links to.
According to Martin Ewi, Pretoria-based senior Institute for Security Studies researcher, “they [terror groups active in West Africa also] probably had a perception that the Western countries would be more willing to negotiate and pay,” [sic]
Mr Ewi has written several articles on these groups, Aftenposten reports. The Norwegian daily does not specifically mention Statoil, apart from in its headline.
At the same time, Mr Ewi believes the In AmÃ©nas kidnappers wanted to take hostages to another place to negotiate with the various nationals” countries” authorities.
“They have earmarked certain countries that they expect would pay,” he says.
Another Aftenposten-published classified US official document claims the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combats (GSPC) abductors were able to make USD 6.5 million from “kidnapping 32 foreigners” in collaboration with Belmokhtar.