Abu Sayyaf, a Filipino Islamist jihadi group that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (ISIS), beheaded a hostage from Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed on Monday.
John Ridsdel, an ex-journalist turned mining executive, was named as the victim of the Filipino terrorists. Despite having pledged allegiance to ISIS, Abu Sayyaf has not been shown to be receiving support from the group.
"I am outraged by the news that a Canadian citizen held hostage has been killed. This was an act of cold-blooded murder," said Trudeau.
According to police in Jolo Island in Sulu province, a jungled province in the southern Philippines where Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding several captives, two men on a motorcycle left Ridsdel's severed head in a plastic bag on a street in Jolo town, before fleeing the scene.
Abu Sayyaf had threatened to behead one of three captives abducted last September from a marina on the southern Samal Island, if by Monday it was not paid a ransom equivalent to around $6.4 million for each of the three hostages – two Canadians and a Norwegian.
Aside from Ridsdel the other Canadian was identified as Robert Hall, and the Norwegian is Kjartan Sekkingstad, the manager of the resort's marina where they were captured. A Filipino woman was also captured, according to police.
Former Liberal MP Bob Rae of Canada was a longtime friend of the 68-year-old Ridsdel, and has been in contact with the family according to CBC News.
"It's hard. It's just very hard. I've been involved behind the scenes for the last six months trying to find a solution and it's been very painful," said Rae.
"Whether things could have been done differently, it's too soon for that to be said. Certainly the family did everything they could to try to reach a solution," he added, explaining that he has known Ridsdel since they were in university together in the 1960s.
Ridsdel formerly worked as a journalist in Calgary before becoming a mining executive, and was in semi-retirement at the time of his capture.