Africa

Al-Qaeda in Maghreb 'threatens Germany over hostage'

  • 22 March 2012
  • From the section Africa
Abdel Moussab Abdelwadoud
Image caption Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, led by Abdel Moussab Abdelwadoud, has kidnapped Europeans in the past

A video purported to be from al-Qaeda's North African affiliate has demanded that Germany free a woman jailed on terror charges in return for a German hostage it says it is holding.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb's video was obtained by a Mauritanian news agency.

In the video, the hostage says his life is at risk if the woman is not freed.

Edgar Fritz Raupach, an engineer, was kidnapped by gunmen near the northern Nigerian city of Kano two months ago.

"We inform you that that your compatriot Edgar Fritz Raupach is a prisoner of the fighters of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb," the video said.

The group said it is seeking the release of Umm Seifullah al-Ansari, or Filiz Gelowicz, a Turkish-born woman jailed a year ago in Germany for aiding terrorism.

Her husband, German national Fritz Gelowicz, a convert to Islam, was among four Islamists imprisoned in March 2010 for plotting to attack US facilities in Germany.

At the time, the judge said the men, known as the "Sauerland group", had dreamed of "mounting a second 11 September 2001".

The statement claimed that Filiz Gelowicz was suffering "inhumane treatment" in a German prison.

Correspondents say the private Mauritanian news agency which sourced the video, ANI, frequently publishes statements by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

The group, led by Abdel Moussab Abdelwadoud, has kidnapped Europeans in the past.

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