Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacted with shock to the death of Canadian John Ridsdel. Ridsdel was one of four tourists kidnapped from a resort in the Philippines last year by terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
The group posted a ransom demand asking for $300 million Philippine Pesos ($8 million) for each hostage by April 25, 2016. The policy of the Philippines is not to negotiate with terrorists and their government asked Canada to comply.
Shortly after the ransom deadline a severed head was found near Jolo City, Jolo Island. Media reports state a single man on the motorcycle threw a plastic bag into the road. “This was an act of cold-blooded murder and responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage,” Trudeau said in a statement.
Abu Sayyaf began in the ’90s financed by al-quaeda. One of its commanders has switched their allegiance to the Islamic State. The group is fighting in the Philippines for an independent Islamic province.
“The Government of Canada’s first priority is the safety and security of its citizens,” Trudeau said. Abu Sayyaf is said to be holding hostages from eight different countries.
John Risdsdel was President of TVI Minerals’ Processing Inc. He previously worked for Petro Canada, and was a journalist with the CBC.