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Daesh devilry at new low

DUBAI: Daesh claimed Wednesday to be holding a Chinese and a Norwegian hostage and asked for an unspecified ransom for their release.
The announcement came in the latest issue of the terror group’s English-language magazine, Dabiq, distributed on Twitter. In the case of each man, it published an “advertisement” announcing that he was “for sale.”
Under each man’s photograph, it says: “To whom it may concern of the Crusaders, pagans, and their allies, as well as what are referred to as human ‘rights’ organizations, this prisoner was abandoned by his government, which did not do its utmost to purchase his freedom.”
At the bottom it said: “Whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer can contact the following telegram number,” adding that this is a “limited time offer.”

Fan of Norse mythology
The Norwegian being hostage was a graduate student in political philosophy whose Facebook feed shows a long-held interest in Middle East conflicts and Norse mythology.
Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad’s last communicated via his Facebook page on Jan. 24, announcing he had “finally made it” to Syria and was on his way to Hama. His prolific posting subsequently stopped.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende confirmed Thursday that the 48-year-old had been held since January, and that a picture shown in the latest issue of the militants’ online magazine Dabiq, showing Grimsgaard-Ofstad in a yellow jumpsuit was believed to be recent.
The magazine lists a telegram number for “whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer.”
“Based on our analysis of the image published, and the information we have, it is our assessment that the photo was taken during the last month,” said Brende. “We are working on the basis that he is still alive.”
Norwegian officials dismissed questions about why Grimsgaard-Ofstad went to Syria, saying it was not for them to speculate on the reasons.
On Wednesday, Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg said Norway “cannot and will not succumb to pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransoms.”

Advertising man
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that authorities are still verifying the identity of the Chinese hostage.
But the Sohu news portal identified the man as Fan Jinghui, who worked in advertising and TV production and describes himself as a free spirit and reader of Greek philosophy. Fan was interviewed in 2001 by China National Radio as part of a feature about people without fixed careers.
“I love reading about the history of science,” Fan said in the interview at the time. “And the ancient Greek great philosophers’ pure spiritual pursuit of freedom really gave me a jolt. That great spirit can be seen as the powerful motive for me to go after freedom.”

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