Kidnapping infidels and releasing them for ransom or killing them -- whichever is more advantageous for the Muslims -- is 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.
"Focus on Islamist militants as French family seized in Cameroon," by Tim Lister for CNN, February 20 (thanks to Maxwell):
(CNN) -- The abduction of a French family, including four children, in a remote part of Cameroon has fueled fears that Western civilians living and working in parts of Africa are becoming targets of Islamist militant groups -- especially in the wake of France's military intervention in Mali.
The family spent Monday at Waza National Park -- a thickly-forested area popular with tourists close to the borders with Nigeria and Chad. Tuesday morning, they began the drive south when they were ambushed and abducted by several armed men on motorbikes, officials said.
The children's father is an employee of the French company GDF Suez and is based in Yaounde, in the south of Cameroon.
GDF Suez, which is developing a natural gas liquefaction project in Cameroon, expressed its concern and said it was working closely with the French Foreign Ministry.
Waza is in a remote part of the country where the borders are porous and criminal and terrorist groups are able to operate freely, according to regional analysts.
French officials immediately pointed the finger at the Nigerian group Boko Haram, which has waged a three-year terror campaign against Christians in northern Nigeria as well as attacking police stations and more moderate Muslims in authority.
It has also been able to take advantage of porous borders with Chad and Cameroon.
French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Athens on Tuesday: "I am aware of the presence of Boko Haram in that part of Cameroon, and that's worrying enough."
Hollande said he does not believe that the kidnapping took place because of his country's intervention in Mali. "There is a great danger of terrorism in a big part of west Africa, including as far as Cameroon," said Hollande, calling on French nationals to exercise caution in West Africa.....