Al Qaeda’s North African wing says it has carried out its threat to kill a British hostage it was holding in the
The group had said it would kill the Briton if the British government did not release Abu Qatada, a Jordanian Islamist it is holding in prison, Reuters says.
Dyer was killed on May 31 after a second deadline for the group’s demands expired, it said today in a statement on a website used by al Qaeda-linked groups.
“The British captive was killed so that he, and with him the British state, may taste a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition to the east and to the west,” the statement said.
“Let Gordon Brown and his aggressor government reap the fruits of their thoughtless policies towards Muslims.”
The announcement of the killing came as US President Barack Obama headed to the
The British Foreign Office said Dyer was kidnapped on the border between
According to The Times newspaper, Dyer was one of a group of European tourists kidnapped after attending the African music “Festival in the Desert” near
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for kidnapping two Canadian diplomats and four European tourists in the past five months.
The two diplomats and two of the tourists were freed in
Last month, Algerian media reported AQIM was demanding €10 million ($14 million) in exchange for Dyer and the Swiss national.
Brown said in a statement: “We have strong reason to believe that a British citizen, Edwin Dyer, has been murdered by an Al Qaeda cell in
Brown said the killing reinforced
“It strengthens our determination never to concede to the demands of terrorists, nor to pay ransoms. I want those who would use terror against British citizens to know beyond doubt that we and our allies will pursue them relentlessly, and that they will meet the justice they deserve,” he said.
“I have regularly discussed this case with the president of
The Swiss Foreign Ministry condemned the killing as an “extreme violation of human dignity” and said it was working with President Amadou Toumani Toure of
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said
Abu Qatada, named by a Spanish judge as the right-hand man in Europe of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, has been held in Britain since 2005. He denies belonging to the group.
Analysts say the
Tuareg rebellions are simmering in both Mali and Niger, Islamist groups are seeking to spread their influence south from Algeria and there is a long tradition of trafficking in cigarettes, weapons and people.
PiC: AQIM with Austrians hostages, early 2009.