An insurgent group in Iraq last night posted a video showing a kidnapped German man who has been held for over six months, as the group gave Germany 10 days to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan or the hostage would be killed.
The video showed Sinan Krause seated drinking tea in front of a blue backdrop and talking with his mother, Hannelore, who was freed in July and wept openly in the footage. As the image shifted to Hannelore sitting alone dressed in her headscarf, a voice was heard saying she was released because she converted to Islam.
The narrator then demanded that Germany withdraw its forces from Afghanistan within 10 days or “we will slaughter him (Sinan) like a sheep to please ourselves and in support of our brothers and a humiliation to our enemies.”
A previously unknown insurgent group, the Arrows of Righteousness, claimed in March to have abducted Sinan and his mother and released two earlier videos of the two.
The authenticity of yesterday’s almost three minute-long video could not be verified, but it appeared on a website commonly used by Islamic militants and carried the logo of the group.
In both previous videos – released in March and April – the group also threatened to kill the hostages if Germany did not start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan within 10 days.
The mother and son disappeared in Iraq on February 6, and German officials have not said what they were doing in Iraq.
In one video, Krause said she worked for the Austrian Embassy, and a militant’s voiceover said her son worked for Iraq’s foreign ministry.
In March, Krause’s husband, Mohamed al-Tornachi, and Sinan’s wife pleaded in a video on German and Arab television for the insurgents to free the two. German president Horst Koehler also appealed for their release.
Germany, which opposed the war in Iraq and has no troops there, has some 3,000 soldiers serving in Nato’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan – largely in the relatively calm north – and has said it will not comply with the kidnappers’ demands.