Islamic State (ISIS) beheads Croatian man after Egypt ignores demand to release Muslim women prisoners

Croatian citizen Tomislav Salopek has been beheaded by ISIS, according to photos published by the group on social media. The pictures were uploaded on the morning of August 12th.

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Heavy  Jihadis loyal to the Islamic State in Egypt claim to have brutally beheaded the Croatian hostage who was seen begging for his life in a chilling video message released last week. Depraved ISIS supporters took to social media to share a photograph purporting to show the body of 30-year-old Tomislav Salopek, who has been held by militants in Sinai province since July 22 after being kidnapped in the capital Cairo.

The 31-year-old had been held by the group since July 22 when he was kidnapped close to Cairo, Egypt. His death, ISIS says, was due to Croatia’s role in the war against the Islamic State.

Tomislav Salopek reading a statement right before he was brutally killed by an Egyptian group calling itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State
Tomislav Salopek reading a statement right before he was brutally killed by an Egyptian group calling itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State

In the new video, it’s said that Salopek will die unless Egypt releases “muslim women” from jail in 48 hours. Salopek is shown in a yellow jumpsuit, kneeling down in front of a masked knife-wielding terrorist. The clip of Salopek begging for his life has been removed from YouTube due to a violation of the site’s terms of service. The video was released on August 5. The photos of Salopek were verified by the terrorism watchdog SITE Intel.

The gruesome image appears to show Mr Salopek’s severed head placed on his back – a trademark of ISIS militants who have brutally beheaded at least seven Western hostages over the past year. Buried in the sand next to his bloodied corpse is the chilling black and white flag used by ISIS. 

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In the images released by ISIS, one highlights Croatia’s support for Egypt in the War on Terror, the other for Croatia’s support of Kurdish rebels. The Independent reports that the Egyptian interior ministry have not yet confirmed Salopek’s death and were working to confirm the authenticity of the photos. The Croatian foreign ministry said the same though the BBC reports that the country’s prime minister is preparing a statement on the execution. A spokesman for Salopek’s employers said “we fear the the worst,” reports the Associated Press.

Salopek had been working in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, as a surveyor for the French company CGG. Reuters reported two days after he was taken that his car was stopped by militants while Salopek was traveling to work. The specific group responsible for his capture were ISIS-Egyptian offshoot Wilyat Sina. He’s the first civilian to be taken hostage by the group. 

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CNN reported in February 2015 that Croatia was considered a part of the coalition to battle ISIS. Also in the coalition are Croatia’s neighbors Serbia and the predominately Muslim country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In July 2015, an ISIS video encouraged Muslims in the Balkan countries to take up arms and establish Sharia Law in the region. 

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