New Sect Claims Responsibility For The Kidnap Of A Frenchman in Katsina.

A new radical Islamist sect, Ansaru, on Sunday claimed responsibility for the recent kidnapping of a French national in Katsina.
The group cited France’s push for military intervention in Mali as a justification, accordint to AFP.
A statement by the group said, “Ansaru announces to the world, especially the French government, that it was responsible for the abduction of engineer Francis Colump, 63, working for the French company Vergnet.”

Wednesday last week, about 30 gunmen stormed Vergnet’s residence in Katsina State, where the alternative energy firm has a wind power project.
“The reason for his kidnap is the stance of the French government and the French people on Islam,” said the statement written in Hausa.
The group specifically pointed to “France’s major role in the (planned) attack on the Islamic state in northern Mali.”

It also cited France’s “law outlawing the use of Islamic veil by Muslim women.”
Paris has backed plans to deploy a west African force in northern Mali to flush out the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups who took control of the vast desert territory earlier this year.
“We inform the French government that this group will continue launching attacks on the French government and French citizens … as long as it does not change its stance on these two issues,” the Ansaru statement said.

The police chief in Katsina, Abdullahi Magaji, told AFP that there were indications that former or current employees of Vergnet had been involved, arguing that the attack appeared to be “an inside job.
Ansaru is less well known than Islamist group Boko Haram, which is waging a deadly insurgency in the North since 2009.
The two groups are known to have ties but are seen as independent.
In November, Britain’s interior ministry identified Ansaru as a “Nigeria-based terrorist organisation” and declared membership or support for it illegal.
The group’s full name, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, is roughly translated as Vanguards for the aid of Muslims in black Africa.

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