Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Islamic State holds Norwegian for ransom

Share this article

Islamic State holds Norwegian for ransom
An excerpt from the ransom note from Islamic State's Dabiq magazine. Photo: Dabiq
22:04 CEST+02:00
The terror organisation Islamic State has kidnapped a 48-year-old Norwegian graduate student and is demanding ransom money for his release. “Note: This is a limited time offer,” the advert reads.
The group posted pictures of two men, a Norwegian graduate student and a Chinese consultant, in the latest issue of its online magazine Dabiq, giving a telegram number under each for “whoever would like to pay the ransom for his release and transfer”. 
The ransom note for the Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad, a student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, comes at the end of the magazine under the headline “Norwegian Prisoner for sale”. 
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg cancelled a scheduled appearance on Norway's NRK channel after the latest issue of Dabiq Magazine was published on Wednesday evening.  
"IS's brutality knows no borders and now they have claimed one of my own," she said in an emergency press conference. "In late January we learned of the possible kidnap of a Norwegian citizen. He has since been held by different kidnappers, but there is reason to believe he is now held by IS." 
She said that while Norway aimed to secure his safe release, it was not willing to buy him back from the terror group. 
"Norway does not pay ransom money," she said. 
Grimsgaard-Ofstad posted on Facebook in January that he had arrived in the Syrian town of Idlib, although why he was there has yet to be determined. His Facebook page includes many photographs of ancient sculptures and ruins. 
“I am in Idlib, Syria. Going to Hama tomorrow. I finally made it,” he wrote. 
Idlib was at in January controlled by the Syrian government but was overrun by the Islamist coalition Jaish al-Fatah in March. 
The Chinese man was advertised in the magazine as Fan Jinghui, 50, a freelance consultant from Beijing.
Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?