Filipino based Islamic extremists beheaded a Malaysian man they had held hostage for six months after a large ransom demand was not paid to return the man to his home.
The man, identified as Bernard Then Ted Fen according to an AP report was kidnapped back in May with another man at a seafood restaurant in the city of Sandakan in the Malaysian state of Sabah.
Militants from Abu Sayyaf, a ISIS sworn (and formerly al-Qaeda) linked Islamic extremism organization based in the Philippines carried out the kidnapping and execution in a move that is not usual for the group.
Then’s beheading is reportedly the first the group has ever carried out against a Malaysian.
From the AP:
“The United States and the Philippines have listed the Abu Sayyaf as a terrorist organization for kidnappings, beheadings, extortion and bomb attacks. The al-Qaida-linked militants have been weakened but have survived more than a decade of U.S.-backed offensives.
The Abu Sayyaf has been suspected of kidnappings two Canadians, a Norwegian and a Filipina from a marina in the south in September. Militants who identified themselves in an online video as belonging to the Abu Sayyaf have demanded more than $60 million for the release of the three foreigners.”
Brig. Gen. Alan Arrojado, commander of the Joint Task Group Sulu, told GMA News Online (a Filipino news organization) that Then was buried soon after he was executed.
“Accordingly, the body was immediately buried in the vicinity where they beheaded the victim,” Arrojado told GMA News Online.
There are also indications that the beheading might have been precipitated by a military assault against the group.
“It appears that the beheading pushed through almost simultaneously with the bombardment and rocket fires,” Arrojado told GMA News Online
Arrojado also said that Filipino troops are actively searching for the terrorists who adopted the flag of ISIS in late 2014.
Stay with Rise News as we follow this developing story.