Algerian Pro-ISIS Jihadist Group Beheads French Hostage

Group Had Demanded France End Involvement in US-ISIS War

Algerian jihadist group Jund al-Khalaifah (soldiers of the Caliphate) has beheaded 55-year-old French hostage Herve Gourdel in a new video released today.

Jund al-Khalaifah kidnapped Gourdel, a mountaineering guide, over the weekend, and had demanded the French government withdraw from the US-led war against ISIS in Syria and Iraq within 24 hours. The French refused, and Gourdel was executed, in what the group called a “message of blood for the French government.

Jund al-Khalaifah isn’t widely known outside of Algeria, though back in 2012 they claimed credit for the Mohamed Merah shootings in Toulouse. French officials denied the links, saying he acted alone.

This way just be the first in a series of killings by other Islamist factions over the ISIS war, with Abu Sayyaf, in the Philippines, threatening to kill two German hostages if the German government doesn’t end its support to the US war.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.