Global Independent Analytics

Militants kill Canadian hostage John Ridsdel in the Philippines

"He was very adventurous, his career path was unique to him"

James Griffiths reporting for CNN: Philippines-based Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf have murdered a Canadian man who was held captive for seven months.

John Ridsdel was beheaded and his remains were found the day after a ransom demand deadline expired.

He was described as a "kind and gregarious person who touched everyone he knew with his enthusiasm and generosity."

In a statement, Ridsdel's family said he "loved life and lived it to the fullest with his family and friends at the center. He was loved by all his friends and adored by his daughters, sister, and extended family."

"Our family is devastated at the loss of our father and brother John Ridsdel whose life was cut tragically short by this senseless act of violence."

Bob Rae, a close friend of Ridsdel said that "lots of effort" was made to respond to ransom demands but the amounts asked for were too high.

Ridsdel had worked as a reporter for The Calgary Herald and CBC and eventually retired from TVI Pacific to tour the world.

"He was very adventurous, his career path was unique to him," Rae said.

His death was described as "an act of cold-blooded murder” by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who added that “responsibility rests squarely with the terrorist group who took him hostage."

Philippines security forces vowed that "the full force of the law will be used to bring these criminals to justice."

"There will be no let up in the determined efforts ... to neutralize these lawless elements and thwart further threats to peace and security," the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police said in a joint statement.

Formed by Islamic fundamentalist Abdurajik Abubakar Janjalani, who trained in the Middle East -- and reportedly met with al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden -- Abu Sayyaf is a violent extremist group who split from established Philippines separatist movement Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1991. Some experts have claimed the group to have a connection to ISIS.

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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