An ISIL-linked terrorist group, calling itself Jund al-Khalifah, seized Gourdel on September 21, when the 55-year-old mountain guide was trekking in a national park in eastern Algeria.
SHAFAQNA – Algerian Justice Minister Tayeb Louh says the country has identified suspects in the abduction and decapitation of French tourist Herve Gourdel.
The terrorists beheaded Gourdel in a video posted online on September 24 after giving Paris an ultimatum to stop its airstrikes against the ISIL in Iraq, a demand that Paris rejected.
“The preliminary investigation has identified certain members of the terrorist group that carried out this crime,” Louh said on state television on Tuesday.
The Algerian minister added that on Sunday a judge at an Algiers court specializing in terrorism and organized crime was tasked with launching an investigation into Gourdel’s kidnapping and killing.
An arrest warrant has been sought for the identified kidnappers and an investigation has been demanded to determine the location where the video was posted online, the minister said.
A probe has also been ordered to identify other members of the Algerian terrorist group.
The recent beheading marks the latest in a series of gruesome attacks by the ISIL Takfiri terrorists against foreigners in the Middle East and North Africa.
US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were both beheaded in two videos released by the Takfiri group. Both of them were abducted in Syria. The ISIL also beheaded a British national in the Middle Eastern country.
The United States and some of its regional allies, mainly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been supporting militant groups in Syria to fight the government there.
Last year, the ISIL exploited the chaos of the Syrian conflict to capture large swathes of territory there before sweeping through neighboring Iraq.