Islamic State Offers Prisoners ‘For Sale’

The Norwegian government has confirmed a man in his forties has been taken hostage by the Islamic State group after being kidnapped in January this year. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said crisis teams are in full swing to bring him home. The PM also said that Norway does not pay ransome. The statement comes after the Islamic State placed two full-page advertisements in its latest propaganda magazine Dabiq, saying Norway’s Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad and China’s Fan Jinghui were on offer “for sale”. Wearing the brightly-coloured jumpsuits that have become the hallmark of the group, the two men were advertised in the magazine claiming they had been abandoned by their respective governments. Atelephone number was placed for any interested buyer. Grimsgaard-Ofstad, 48, is a political science graduate who lived in Oslo. While no circumstances of his capture were released and the information cannot be independently verified, his social media profiles including YouTube and Facebook accounts show he had been in Syria in January and liked a number of videos related to conflict in the country. Little is known about Fan Jinghui, 50, whose is thought to live in Beijing and work as a freelance consultant. The Chinese government is yet to respond. (Herald)

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