Islamic State claims it has taken Grimsgaard-Ofstad, a Norwegian, and Fan, a freelance consultant from Beijing, hostage. The Dabiq online magazine posts photos of the men wearing yellow prison outfits, but does not say where or when they were captured. The magazine lists a telegram number for:
whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer.
Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg says Grimsgaard-Ofstad was captured at the end of January.
The kidnappers have presented a series of demands and significant amounts of ransom money,. We cannot give in and won’t give in to pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransom…Our goal is to get our citizen home. But let me be very clear, this is a very demanding case.
Chinese officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
ISIS announces the execution of Ofstad and Fan in its magazine Dabiq, saying they had been ‘executed after being abandoned by kafir nations and organisations’. It is believed both men were shot. Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg:
[We cannot confirm the killing] but we have no reasons to doubt it…It is painful for the family and the whole country. [ISIS is} a barbaric group. We do not pay ransom…even if it hurts, we should never let the terrorists win.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Brede says the government is releasing the information in accordance with the family’s wishes. Chinese officials did not comment on Fan’s kidnapping.
President Jinping says he strongly condemns Fan’s murder by ISIS. China’s Foreign Ministry:
The Chinese government strongly condemns this savage act devoid of humanity and will certainly bring the criminals to justice. The Chinese government will resolutely oppose all forms of terrorism, and resolutely strike at any violent terrorist criminal activities that defy the bottom lines of human culture. China will continue to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with the international community to maintain peace and tranquility in the world.