Al Qaeda affiliate kidnaps priest in Syria: report

Reuters reports:

Al Qaeda-linked fighters in a rebel-held eastern Syrian city on Monday abducted a prominent Italian Jesuit priest who championed the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, activists said.

Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant kidnapped father Paolo Dall’Oglio while he was walking in Raqqa, which fell to militant Islamist brigades in March, the sources in Raqqa province told Reuters.

Syrian authorities expelled Dall’Oglio from the country last year for helping victims of Assad’s military crackdown while he served at a sixth-century monastery in the Anti-Lebanon mountains north of Damascus.

This attack was executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But it isn’t the first reported instance of an al Qaeda affiliate targeting priests in Syria.

The Vatican previously confirmed that a Syrian priest, Francois Murad, was kidnapped by fighters “linked” to the Al Nusrah Front on June 23 and killed, though the “circumstances of the death are not fully understood.” A video surfaced, however, purportedly showing this priest being beheaded. [See LWJ report, Syrian jihadists behead Catholic priest, 2 others.] Subsequently, there were conflicting reports that the man being beheaded was “another cleric,” and Murad was instead shot to death.

In any event, al Qaeda’s affiliates are targeting priests in Syria.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • David says:

    Why are Catholics not up in arms over this? Why is the pope tiptoeing around it? Have they lost the will to defend themselves? I heard almost nothing about this, except here. It isn’t even an issue on the networks. At least Poland should be upset, right? They’re really Catholic…
    I have been reading books (authors Mark Steyn, Bruce Bawer) about the West’s loss of will, in particular Europe but also here.
    This seems a perfect example of what they are saying. 100 years ago Europe would have been in an uproar. Now we barely say anything, except “the circumstances aren’t clear”. What could be MORE clear? You have the VIDEO, for chrissakes (pardon).
    Now people, even Republicans, are saying that Afghanistan wasn’t worth doing. Really? After Sept. 11th, we should have done NOTHING? What the hell is going on, here?

  • Celtiberian says:

    David, Republicans like McCain are pressing for the US to arm this rebels. Yes, stop lying ourselves, the FSA gangs are just allies and partners of these terrorists, and these AQ people are the ones who lead the shots in the rebel movement.
    Vatican stance is shameful but also that of Europe and US in general. Only Russia seem to be decent on this. Because Putin is an authoritarian and egotistical guy but at least he has a coherent stance againts this kind of criminals wether they are in Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Syria or elsewhere. Quite the contrary for western governments who are now using as proxy allies the same murderers of 9/11 or Madrid 3/11 (yes I’m spaniard)

  • mike merlo says:

    whatever happened to “tit-for-tat?” Maybe the Catholic Church & the Europeans will get some back bone before ‘its’ too late & start responding in kind.

  • gb says:

    How long before we see the video of him having his head sawed off to screams of Alah Akbar..?

  • Daniele Raineri says:

    Reuters is wrong. Padre Paolo dall’Oglio volunteered to meet with the commander of Islamic State of Iraq and Sham in Raqqa. Dall’Oglio asked the activists with him to announce his disappearance should he not return within three days. The three days are not up yet. So Al Qaeda is not specifically targeting priests, for now.

  • infosifter says:

    dittos David. Costics in Egypt also. No Martels or Knights T’s around? Only work place violence PC’s.

  • NL says:

    Story maybe a bit different than this article may suggest.
    “Activists and aid workers who had met with Dall’Oglio Saturday in Turkey ahead of his trip expressed doubts that the priest had been kidnapped, speculating that he may be involved in talks with Al-Qaeda.
    But they admitted Dall’Oglio had asked them to announce his disappearance should he not return in three days.”
    Read more:
    (The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram