First a Youtube audio message surfaced, then some hours later a ‘proper’ statement was issued. Here is a translation:
“During a time, where the evil of the Jews, Christians and apostates has allied with one another, they attack Islam and its people on every territory.
In a time in which the sons of France, the servants of the Americans, cooperate and support them in the tasks of [fabricating] lies against the mujahidin, thus a joyful message is sent by us to the Muslim umma – the success of the Mujahidin in realizing two different operations, within the territory of Nigeria.
The first operation: The Muj had been able, since two months, to hold two renowned Canadian diplomats kidnapped. The first one is Robert Fuller, former ambassador and special envoy in Niger, the second one is Lewis Guay, former ambassador in Gabon.
The second operation: On 22 January the Mujahidin were able to kidnap four European tourists, in Nigeria:
Edwyn Dyer, British; Marianne Petzold, German; Werner Greiner and Gabriella Burco Greiner, Swiss.”
The statement then goes on to claim that the hostages will be treated according to sharia law and Islam – and that the fight for the umma and the Muslims, against the tyrants, will continue. It is signed by the “Media Council of AQIM, 18.02.2009.” Pictures follow:
Women are, as in the case of the kidnapped Austrians, rendered unrecognizable