Islamic State Claims Beheading of Croatian Hostage

This image made from a militant video posted on a social media website on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015, Hostage: Tomislav Salopek A Croatian working in Egypt

This image made from a militant video
posted on a social media website on
Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015,
Hostage: Tomislav Salopek
A Croatian working in Egypt

 

The desert road kidnapping and claimed beheading by Islamic State (IS) fighters last week of a Croatian citizen, 30-year old Tomislav Salopek, temporarily working for a French geoscience company, CGG Ardiseis, as oil and gas surveyor, who was snatched in broad daylight on the outskirts of Cairo, is the first of its kind involving a foreigner in Egypt. The fact that this atrocious act is sure to deal an almost irrecoverable blow to Egypt’s government’s efforts to project stability, which would attract foreign investment and influx of foreign skills needed to support an economic turnaround following years of unrest in the wake of Egypt’s Arab Spring, is not what the West should be worried about. In the big scheme of worldly affairs Croatia is a small country but the fact that the capture and reported beheading of Salopek “for his country’s participation in the war against the Islamic State” reverberates the terrible truth that IS’ has counted on and is counting on using individuals wherever they are for targets whose death spreads immobilising fear. Such method of terror, as we know, can occur on the territory where IS fights or on “our” territory through.

Tomislav Salopek and his wife Natasa Photo: Facebook

Tomislav Salopek and his wife Natasa
Photo: Facebook

 

In a brief statement, CGG said: “His car was stopped by an armed group who forced the driver to leave the car and then took off in an unknown direction.”

Initially, Salopek’s captors did not demand money but set a 48-hour deadline for the release of “Muslim women” from Egyptian jails – a reference to the hundreds of female Islamist prisoners (considered to be members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood) detained in a sweeping government crackdown following the 2013 ouster of the country’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

 

On Thursday, 13 August 2015, the Islamic State group’s radio station, Al Bayan, announced that its Egyptian affiliate had killed Salopek, the first word from the extremist group – media reported.
Authorities, though, still have not confirmed the authenticity of the claim and are continuing the search for Salopek in isolated areas of Egypt, including the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, where Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate is based, and the vast Western Desert, which is a gateway to volatile and lawless Libya, home to its own Islamic State branch. Croatians all over the world and friends pray that Salopek is still alive.

 

 

Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic

Croatian Foreign Minister
Vesna Pusic

Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusic travelled to Egypt amid this terrible time and said she has met with representatives of about 80 other Croatian citizens working in Egypt and the Croatian government has demanded stronger security measures for them, including the protection of the Egyptian army.
Croatia’s Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic said that Tomislav Salopek was captured by a different group than the Islamic State and was only given to ISIS once a ransom wasn’t paid by Salopek’s company, General Geoscience (CGG), reports Al Arabiya.

According to Croatian newspaper Vecernji List, the terrorist organisation responsible for the kidnapping and reported beheading of Croatia’s Tomislav Salopek is the Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna. However, it would seem that not enough relevant information about this group has been published there that would place it into the Islamic State fighters that it seems to now be.

Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna group like jihadi groups traces via its supposed heritage an ideology of explicitly espousing the restoration of the Caliphate and, according to reports, politically the group tended to take a more ‘moderate’ stance in affiliating with the insurgent nationalist ‘Iraqi Resistance’ political council until last year.
The reassertion of Jamaat Ansar al-Sunna’s jihadi identity and roots has been made more clear during 2014 with a tract from the group’s leader calling for the unity of the ‘mujahideen of the Ummah’ and the late-2014 statement marking itself out as a ‘jihadi faction’ rather than a mere ‘armed Sunni faction’.

And so, it would seem that the Croatian foreign minister Pusic needs some more lessons in Islamic State and all the groups and ways it operates with. Islamic State is the ultimate result for the Mujahideens and all other groups committing terror and murder in the name of IS. And didn’t the Croats of Bosnia and Herzegovina experience the terror and the insufferable brutality of Mujahideens that made up a part of the Muslim led, Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990’s war!

Tomislav Salopek

Tomislav Salopek

In July 2015, an ISIS video (taken off Youtube) encouraged Muslims in the Balkan countries to take up arms and establish Sharia Law in the region. Meanwhile in March 2014, Brown Moses reported that ISIS had taken control and was using Croatian weaponry the group hijacked from convoys meant for the Free Syrian Army. “…it seems extremely likely these weapons are the same ones purchased from Croatia, by Saudi Arabia, and smuggled through Jordan. Now, despite the best intentions of those who were involved with providing these weapons to the Free Syrian Army, these weapons are being used to attack Iraqi government forces inside Iraq, a clear indication that attempts to control the spread of weapons beyond the borders of Syria and the groups that initially received them has failed in a spectacular fashion…” Moses wrote. Surely, Croatia’s foreign minister Vesna Pusic can do better in dealing with the way Islamic State has targeted a Croatian citizen for its latest display of terror by beheading! ISIS has pointed its murderous finger at Croatia through the kidnapping and beheading of Tomislav Salopek and it is very irresponsible of foreign minister Pusic to suggest that the incident was not originally planned by IS but by some unnamed, non-IS group seeking ransom! Whether ransom was sought before the release of female Islamists from prison it does not matter – both tactics are evidently tied to the IS and it was not by chance that a Croatian citizen was taken!

The kidnapping and reported execution of a foreign national (Croatian Tomislav Salopek) adds a new dimension to an environment of hostility toward outsiders that has taken root in the country. Entrenched military and security political forces have blamed Egypt’s unrest on foreign influences.
This is already an insular moment for Egypt and it’s quite possible that the country could be seen as not only an inhospitable environment for foreigners, but a dangerous one—and that is [Sinai Province’s] intention,” said Michael Hanna, an Egypt analyst with the Century Foundation in New York.
Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusic’s evident playing down the role of IS in Tomislav Salopek case could be seen as an attempt to try and help Egypt’s government salvage some of the reputation it lost in this attack for foreign investors and travelers. Such an attempt would be unforgivable for its effect can only incite further IS attacks rather than reduce them. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Comments

  1. My sympathies … my heart broke when I heard the news. This is a world evil and the world needs to take action … God help us all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is horrible, horrible

    Thank you, Ina, for sharing such a valuable offering even if it is the grimmest and saddest of offerings

    with love

    john

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  3. Such sad news, my sympathies go out to his wife and family, when will this all stop? But thank you for making us aware it must have been very hard for you to write this post.

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  4. An unforgivable deed by these militant animals who pick off individuals and show how strong they are by hiding their faces as a group confront just one person before killing him. This is not religion, it’s a power trip.
    The factions out there could live together if they chose to do so but reject that option in the hopes of being ‘Last Man Standing’ with their ideology of bloodletting.
    A people who gave the world mathematics have reverted to savagery and are sadly lacking in civilised living. I am a man of peace but at times like this wish these animals could be put down.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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  5. So sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to the family and his country.

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  6. Very cruel indeed.

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  7. Inavukic, What a sad news. This is horrible. I pray that God should give the wife, children, family members, friends, wellwishers and fellow country men the grace and fortitude to bear this pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This sort barbarism just can not go on. Politically correct or not – obviously very drastic measures have to be taken with these people!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Could not agree more, gp. And if measures are not taken against it it’s our children and their children that will suffer more than what we can imagine. The death cult of Islamic State has not been confronted yet the way it must be. I see that too.

      Like

  9. People cheered on the Arab Spring and the downfall of brutal dictators–now we know why they were brutal.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Saw this news the other day. So tragic. A well written piece Ina. X

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  11. Such inhumanity. Inconceivable. My sympathies to the family and friends of Mr Salopek.

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  12. He must have been a man of courage to go to Egypt and work there. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

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  13. This is just savagery, Ina. My heart goes out to the beautiful couple’s families. xo♡♡ 😦

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  14. Michael Silovic says:

    Sadly this has now hit home by the death of one of our own and our prayers to his family are desperately needed at this time. The Croatian goverment has no experience in dealing with issues such as what is happening in the middle east and had no business selling arms to anyone in that region. I made several comments to this a while back ago when it was reveled that we were sending weapons and I said that would lead us to be a target. The reality came true for us. I was told we need everyone to join in defeating the war and instability in the middle east but the truth be told that is not true. While it is clear that our goverment is trying to blame 2 groups for this tragedy it shows a bigger problem with the Croatian goverment overall and that they were mislead directly or indirectly into thinking that selling arms in a region that is unstable is a worthy cause for what ever reason militarily or financially. I doubt that this goverment is that stupid to do this on their own and not understand the consequences.This young mans death lays at the feet of the Croatian goverment for their ignorance in world affairs and getting involved where we had no business. Trading in weapons is a nasty business that many people are not familiar with. It rarely is about freedom or democracy but traded for greed and manipulation of a people.Often they are bought , sold and exchange hands many times by different governments for the reason of disguising the real way some people may have received them. In this case it is mentioned that we sold them to Saudi Arabia. That in itself leads me to believe that there is something more amiss with this transaction. Unless you are a strong country with a major military it is very rare for arms to be sold with out trying to cover up the sale of arms through routing. Why this was not done still is mind boggling to me since there is no escape or denial that these arms were sold directly to Saudi Arabia. Point in case when Israel armed the Serbs during the embargo they had denied it as the weapons were routed to make it difficult to trace to them directly.It would be wise for Croatia to not get involved in the arms business for such a small country that we are. We really need to know why and how this agreement came about by our goverment and for what purpose. What was the goal of the Croatian goverment in selling these arms.Not one Croatian life is worth losing for the middle east. I could go on about the caliphate and ISIS and their eventual demise,But to do so I would have to set blame for all of the turmoil in the middle east right at the foot of the west and Israel. In the mean time I will pray for the healing of the Salopeck family and for the dignified return of this young man to his homeland to be laid to rest.

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    • Well put, Michael – arms trading in any area of political/military/para-military…unrest is not wise and sure to bring dire trouble for the country selling arms…one can only imagine that the stupidity of selling arms directly into the region has a lot to do with being stupid in the first place. I find it difficult to trust any side fully in that region for all have similar goals founded on religion, to establish states or maintain states on the basis of religion. Centuries behind and we all know that way back in centuries brutality and cruelty ruled in battles for power. Nothing has changed much

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  15. An attack on Croatia is an attack on the EU and NATO. I hope, though, that foreigners can continue to work in Egypt, holding it within the community of nations. That depends on the current Egyptian government.

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    • The Egyptian government will need to guarantee safety of foreign workers especially, Clare, I agree as I too see this incident as threat to EU and NATO and beyond

      Like

  16. When will this insanity end!

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  17. This cannot, should not be tolerated by any nation… I call for a world collaboration (war) against Islamic state and anyone who supports them in any way whatsoever! After all, they are attacking all over the globe, it’s time the globe reacted!

    No deals, no handouts, and don’t give me any jibe about being f****** fair… cut off the heads of Islamic state! Full stop.

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  18. Michael Silovic says:

    Ina your comments are correct. This is why weapons should never have been sent to the middle east to begin with. This is a losing battle. I often hear many people say the west or the world needs to go into battle against ISIS. This is another false notion as it will only foster splinter groups as was the case before ISIS with Al Queda. Most of these people have never been in a war and have never witnessed first hand the damage of war in lives which can not be replaced.The only way to get a handle on this issue is to isolate the middle east including Israel from the rest of the world.This means to freeze all travel to and from the area, have an embargo of all goods and weapons and stop any and all funding to those countries. All governments must demand that their citizens return home or fend for themselves. Those who are living in other countries that escaped from the war in their home country and are able bodied should be told to go to a military training camp in the guest country to learn how to use weapons and fight for their freedoms. After 6 weeks of basic training they should be returned to their home country to defend their beliefs. The only people able to solve this issue are those who were born and raised in the middle east and understand the issue and defend for themselves. By isolating the middle east it will reduce the amount of arms going in and out and starve these groups and the governments of money. In the end as in any war someone will win and someone will lose. I am not willing to send anyone’s child to the middle east conflict for the next 50 years to die. It may take even longer then that to resolve this issue. We all have to remember how the collapse of the middle east came about and that is proof enough that no other country can solve the problem even if we created it.

    Like

    • Isolation is a good weapon, Michael – one doesn’t need arms to achieve victory in a battle just determination and resolve to conquer the evil that’s coming out of the Middle East. Good points and given the unrest, given the killings, given the rivers of refugees and illegal economic migrants who rely on welfare arriving in Europe and elsewhere something will need to give to stop this madness

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      • Hi Ina, I must say that from my somewhat limited knowledge, I feel sorry for every country around Israel. The US strated this insanity, and I’m very ashamed of it. It really all began when Saddam was trying to negotiate a deal with the Kuwaitis over a disputed oil field. The Kuwaiti representative said that “Iraq can have those oil fields after every Iraqi women becomes a ten dollar whore. This naturally, deeply offended Saddam. And at the time, he had reason to believe that the US would back him up or at least look the other way in his war with Kuwait.
        He found out what every “friend” of the US usually finds out. Noam Chomsky put it in better words than I can come up with — You need to get the permission of the Godfather before you do something serious like that. Otherwise, the Godfather’s going to beat you to a bloody pulp.
        All in all, I’m uncertain if there is more evil going into the Middle East than coming out of it. Now, the coup leaders say they intend to murder (execute) Morsi. I know of nothing he has done that deserves the death penalty. Terribly sad what greed and religious fanaticism from all sides (outsiders) has caused there. I feel sorry for the people who live in those hell holes and are at the mercy of Israel, a country without shame or mercy. The US is only lagging slightly behind that horrid country.

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      • I totally agree did US and allies stay away and allowed those countries there to settle their differences and conflicts we would not be where we are: looking back and seeing nothing good just evil multiplied that comes in and comes out of it, Donald. Well put

        Liked by 1 person

  19. How sad? May his soul rest in peace. I know the Lord has welcomed him. May his family take comfort in this fact.

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    • Thank you, Nadege, I too believ that even if the authorities keep saying his death has not been verified…that’s politics playing with human lives – terrible all the more

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  20. …if this be-heading is true , then our prayers were all for NAUGHT! As I can remember in high school history class, our Oxford education classical teacher, told us that Western civilization would have been better off believing in Roman paganism (Mithras), instead of fairytales, such as Jesus Christ!….but, then mythical constructs don’t hear very well!

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    • Oh dear, Tempus Fugit, when it comes to faith and belief I listen to no man or woman, I believe myself in what I think is right and for me that is Christ 🙂 and if prayers did not prevent death then they made mourning of those who pray easier and that is a good outcome…

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  21. My heart gets torn apart when I read stories like this. We must continue to pray for the hardened hearts people of the world that God may touch their hearts and cure them of evil.. Thank you for informing us of what is going on so that we may beware.

    Like

  22. The US, UK and Saudi’s supported the mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviets. Including Osama bin Laden. It is indeed a bizarre world we live in – so sorry for this atrocity!

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    • Can’t say “go figure!” Helena, bizarre seems to be a daily occurrence in politics that many cease to pay attention to…I guess helplessness comes to mind as culprit for it but, hey, there are still strong ones around

      Like

  23. Atrocious. *Heartbreak*

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  24. The ,list increases daily. Good people killed for no reasons. These people killing are not human.Their leader held and raped a woman for two years. I believe need to begin at the source to stop. Anyone who give money and weapons to terror. Are quity as the guns that weapons that had killed. I will add to my list of people who were murdered by mad-men. I will put poor familyin my prayers.

    Like

  25. This is frightening. They probably killed him.

    Like

  26. It’s a sad news. Horrible. Europe and the MidEast should act to counter these terrorism. Everyday is counted against the West. Now or never. Beheadings by the IS is going back to barbarism and lawlessness. Let the IS conquer nothing!

    Like

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