Al-Qaeda blames Germany for hostage’s death

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch has blamed Germany for the killing of a German engineer during a military raid in Kano, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

Edgar Raupach, who was kidnapped by gunmen at a construction site in Kano, where he worked for Dantata & Sawoe Construction Co. Ltd. in January, died on May 31 as soldiers launched a raid against the house where his abductors held him.

Nigeria’s military later said it had no idea gunmen held Raupach inside the home and that kidnappers stabbed him to death as the raid began.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the terrorist group that claimed it held Raupach, issued a statement on an Internet forum this week, saying the hostage’s death came only after the German government refused to negotiate with it.

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“Your government gave the green light for the operation,” the message posted on Monday night read.
“We say to the family of the German citizen Edgar Fritz Raupach, the blood of your son hangs from the neck of your government,” AQIM said, according to a SITE translation of the statement posted online on Monday.

The US-based SITE monitoring service tracks jihadi websites.

However, the group, known by the acronym AQIM, had demanded that German officials release Filiz Gelowicz, a German woman convicted last year of supporting a foreign terrorist network.

Gelowicz’s husband was among a group convicted of plotting unsuccessfully to attack US soldiers and citizens in Germany.

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German officials released Gelowicz from prison in late April on probation after she served two-thirds of her sentence.

In Berlin, a government source said on Tuesday that Nigerian authorities raided the house only in an effort to arrest terrorists, not as part of a rescue operation for Raupach.

“German authorities were not informed beforehand,” the official said. “Nigerian authorities have already (said) … they had no knowledge of the whereabouts of the German.”

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria in Plateau State has warned Boko Haram to stop attacking christians.

State CAN Chairman, Dr. Phillip Dafes, said in Jos on Tuesday the association would no longer tolerate the bombing of churches and killing of worshippers.

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He condemned Sunday’s bombing of Christ’s Chosen Church of God, regretting that government had not done enough to protect lives in the state.

Dafes said, “The church is gradually losing count of number of lives lost, number of Christians (women and men) with permanent disabilities, number of women turned widows, number of children made orphans, number of churches, property and businesses destroyed and also relationship and business opportunities that eluded us because of the ridiculous attacks.’’

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