“If confirmed, this terrible assassination would demonstrate once again the cowardly nature and barbarity of this terrorist organization”.
It was the first time the Islamic State affiliate released a video showing a kidnapped foreigner in Egypt, AP reported.
Germany has supplied weapons to Kurdish forces battling the IS group in northern Iraq.
A photograph circulating the social media among ISIS loyalists on Wednesday shows what is claimed by the Islamic State to be the beheading of a Croatian citizen in Egypt.
The Croatian leader said the beheading won’t spur his country to step up its engagement going after ISIS “because others need to handle that”.
Images posted online seem to show a beheaded Tomislav Salopek, a Croatian national, officials from various countries and the SITE Intelligence Group said Wednesday.
In a televised address, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said authorities couldn’t 100% confirm the death of Salopek and urged residents to avoid distributing the image. “We may not have confirmation even in the coming days”.
“Croatia will not participate in the fight against the Islamic State [Daesh]”, said Milanovic.
He also appealed for calm.
ISIS had made Salopek’s release contingent on Egypt releasing all Muslim women in its prisons within 48 hours.
That ultimatum was issued on the eve of Egypt’s inauguration of the Suez Canal, a project hailed by the government as a turning point for the Egyptian economy.
Egypt, led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had been at pains to persuade worldwide investors and companies that the country was safe after two years of violence and militant attacks.
After years of sporadic attacks on military and police targets, the group has launched a number of deadly assaults since Mr. Sisi removed Egypt’s first freely elected president in a military coup in 2013. “Egypt wants support not just for its domestic policies but also for broader crackdown on Islamist terror groups across the region, including places like Libya”.
The group’s demand for the release of female prisoners appeared aimed at scoring propaganda points at the expense of the Islamist opposition in Egypt, which does not share the jihadists’ tactics, an analyst said.
Whether ISIS had expected the bounty to be paid of by the man’s employer or the Egyptian government is not necessarily understood.
The statement also says that under Islamic law, or Shariah, it is forbidden to shed the blood of foreigners, adding that what the “terrorists” did was a betrayal of the Prophet Muhammad and all Muslims.
A photo of Salopek’s decapitated head, which has not been verified, was circulated on jihadist Twitter accounts Wednesday by the ISIL affiliate known as Sinai Province.
Christophe Barnini of France-based seismic survey company CGG told The Associated Press that the company is in touch with Croatian Embassy in Cairo.