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.
"Mali: French Hostage 'Beheaded By Al Qaeda,'" from Sky News, March 20 (thanks to Kenneth):
Al Qaeda says it has beheaded a French hostage in reprisal for France's military intervention in Mali, according to reports.
Its North African arm claimed responsibility, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported, citing a commander for the group.
A French foreign office spokesman said they were trying to verify the report of the killing of Philippe Verdon, adding that "we don't know at the moment" whether it is reliable.
In a telephone call to the news agency, the group spokesman said Mr Verdon had been beheaded on March 10 "in response to the French military intervention in the north of Mali", ANI reported.
The AQIM commander described Mr Verdon as a French spy and said France's President Francois Hollande "bore the responsibility for the remaining hostages"....
No, Al-Qaeda does.