Norwegian ISIS hostage's family can't pay ransom

2015-09-10 22:55
Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad (AP)

Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad (AP)

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Oslo - The family of a Norwegian man the Islamic State is claiming to hold hostage, called on Thursday for his release and said it was unable to pay the ransom ISIS was asking.

The Norwegian government has ruled out paying for his release.

"We are not able to pull together the huge sum that the hostage-takers are demanding. We can only appeal to the hostage-takers to free our son and brother," the family of Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, said in a statement relayed by Norwegian authorities.

In the Sunni Muslim jihadists' English-language magazine, Dabiq, ISIS said on Wednesday that it was holding Grimsgaard-Ofstad and a Chinese man identified as Fan Jinghui, a 50-year-old consultant, and demanded an unspecified ransom for their release.

Echoing Prime Minister Erna Solberg's comments on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Borge Brende said on Thursday it was "out of the question for Norway to pay a ransom".

According to tabloid Verdens Gang (VG), the sum was several million euros.

"We are continuing our efforts based on the assumption that Mr Grimsgaard-Ofstad is still alive," Brende told reporters.

Norwegian authorities have said Grimsgaard-Ofstad was abducted January shortly after his arrival in Syria.

His Facebook page - where he wrote on January 24 that he had arrived in Idlib in the northwest - features many links to articles on the Syria conflict as well as criticial comments about the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Brende would not speculate why he had travelled to Syria.

In its Dabiq magazine, the two hostages were photographed in yellow jumpsuits. ISIS gave no deadline for the ransom to be paid, saying only it was a "limited time offer".


Read more on:    isis  |  norway  |  abductions

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