Friday, June 17, 2016

Abu Sayyaf releases grisly video of Robert Hall's beheading

From Asia One (Jun 17): Abu Sayyaf releases grisly video of Robert Hall's beheading

A screengrab taken from the video showing Hall kneeling down before his captors, just moments before his beheading. Photo: The Star

The Abu Sayyaf has released a gruesome video showing the beheading of Canadian hostage Robert Hall.

The video starts off with two militants standing over Hall, who is made to kneel down before them, with the Islamic State flag in the background.                 

The 90-second video seemed to have been shot in a jungle.

In his last moments, Hall is seen wearing an orange t-shirt and black sweatpants while his hands seemed to be tied behind his back.

One of the militants in the video held Hall's head while the other hand is seen holding a rambo knife.

Throughout the video, another militant, wearing a ski mask, stands behind Hall and recites a prayer in Arabic, which lasted about 45 seconds.

Immediately after this, Hall is forced to the ground while the militant with the machete proceeds to hack off his head.

As this is happening, Hall can be heard groaning.

Hall's severed head is then held up and paraded in front of the camera while the militants shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) several times.

After the beheading, the camera also catches a glimpse of a third militant dressed in blue and wielding a machine gun.

It is believed that the video was taken in Jolo, southern Philippines.

On Monday, the Abu Sayyaf threatened to behead Hall at 3pm if ransom was not paid.

Hall's decapitated head was found placed inside a plastic bag beside Carmelite Cathedral in Jolo.

The 68-year-old Hall had been a hostage of the Abu Sayyaf group since September 2015.

Since Hall's beheading, his family released a statement saying that every option to free him was considered but agreed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's directive that money should not be paid to hostage takers who seek to undermine fundamental Canadian values.

Last month, his fellow countryman John Ridsdell was also beheaded.

Abu Sayyaf, based in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic Philippines, is known for kidnapping, beheadings and extortion.

Security is precarious in the southern Philippines despite a 2014 peace pact between the government and the largest Muslim rebel group that ended 45 years of conflict.

In Manila, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's national security adviser said Duterte's new government, which takes charge on June 30, would "take a stronger action against lawlessness in the south".

"We cannot allow this situation to continue, this should end once and for all," Duterte's adviser Hermogenes Esperon told Reuters.

Abu Sayyaf had initially demanded one billion pesos ($21.7 million) each for the detainees, but it lowered the ransom to 300 million pesos each early this year.

Preliminary intelligence reports in the Philippines indicated Hall had been beheaded 10 minutes after a 3 p.m. deadline lapsed in the mountains outside Jolo's Patikul town

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