Al-Shabaab announced Wednesday (January 16th) that it will execute the French intelligence officer who goes by the alias Denis Allex after holding him hostage for more than three years.
France believes Allex was already killed in a failed rescue attempt Saturday in which eight Somali civilians, 17 al-Shabaab fighters and two French commandos also died, according to AFP.
France's Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud said on Europe 1 radio that al-Shabaab is manipulating the media by pretending Allex is alive.
Al-Shabaab released a statement saying its decision to execute Allex was to avenge the deaths of the civilians killed during the French operation.
Al-Shabaab said it took into consideration "France's increasing persecution of Muslims around the world, its oppressive anti-Islam policies at home, French military operations in the war against Islamic Shariah in Afghanistan and, most recently, in Mali, and its continued economic, political and military assistance towards the African invaders in Muslim lands."
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Saturday that the raid was sparked by the "intransigence of the terrorists who have refused to negotiate for three and a half years and were holding Denis Allex in inhuman conditions".