Islamic jihadists from the Caucasus have been busy lately.
Kidnapping infidels and releasing them for ransom or killing them, as well as freeing them if that option is deemed most 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.
“Christian bishops released by Chechen rebels in Syria,” by Michael Jansen in the Irish Times, April 24 (thanks to Jerk Chicken):
Two Christian bishops kidnapped near the northern Syrian city of Aleppo were freed yesterday and arrived safely at St Elias church in the city.
Sources in the Aleppo dioceses said the city”s Greek Orthodox bishop Boulos al-Yazigi and Syrian-Orthodox Metropolitan Yuhanna Ibrahim had been held by Chechen fundamentalists.
The clerics had been on a mission to negotiate the release of two priests taken two months ago when their car was stopped and the driver killed.
The rebel Free Syrian Army condemned the kidnapping and launched a search while the government, which is not in control of the area where they were abducted, said the Chechens were attached to Jabhat al-Nusra, a group affiliated to al-Qaeda.
The bishops were the most senior Christian clerics to be abducted during the two-year conflict although both Christian and Muslim religious figures have been kidnapped and slain.