Isis captors 'didn't even have the Koran', says French journalist held prisoner by group for more than 10 months

Didier François was held prisoner by the militant group before he was released in April last year

James Rush
Wednesday 04 February 2015 10:10
Journalist Didier François after his release
Journalist Didier François after his release

A French journalist held prisoner by Isis has described how the ideology his captors spoke of had little to do with religion, saying they "didn't even have the Koran."

Didier François was held prisoner for more than 10 months by the militant group before he was released in April last year.

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Mr François has described how his captors would speak to prisoners of their beliefs, but said the discussion was based on politics, rather than religion.

He said: "It was more hammering what they were believing than teaching us about the Koran. Because it has nothing to do with the Koran.

Fighters from ISIS marching in Raqqa, Syria

"They didn't even have the Koran; they didn't want even to give us a Koran."

The comments come as Isis on Wednesday released video footage revealing the murder by burning to death of a Jordanian pilot held by the group since the end of December.

Authorities in Jordan have today said they have executed two militants, including a female prisoner sought by Isis, following the release of the video, which appeared to show pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh being set on fire as he stood in a cage.

Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh

The fate of Mr Kasaesbeh, a member of a large tribe that forms the backbone of support for the country's Hashemite monarchy, has gripped Jordan for weeks, Reuters news agency has reported. Some Jordanians have criticised King Abdullah for embroiling them in US-led air strikes in Syria, which they said would provoke a backlash by militants

The king cut short a visit to the US to return home following word of Mr Kasaesbeh's death. In a televised statement, he said the pilot's killing was an act of "cowardly terror" by a deviant group that had no relation to Islam.

Mr François, who was held for months with James Foley, has previously suggested he has a "rough idea" as to the identity of the American's suspected British killer.

In an interview on French radio last year, Mr François said the video of the suspected-London born jihadist known as "John" speaking over Mr Foley's last moments brought back difficult memories of being held prisoner with the journalist.

Mr François, who also claimed the American was singled out for beatings by his captors from Isis, was found along with three other underfed French journalists, blindfolded and handcuffed, in a field in a no man's land on the Turkish border with Syria on 19 April.

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