Korkie Update Post Deadline
You've asked for feedback from the kidnappers regarding Pierre Korkie. We haven't received any information thus far. It is now thirteen days that we've had no communication from them but in the meantime here are some points to consider: My greatest concern is Pierre's health. Has he survived his condition or has he passed on because of complications? If he passed on because of medical reasons is that one of the reasons why Al Qaeeda has maintained silence for 13 days now. If Pierre is gravely ill but still holding out it is my opinion that they will not execute him for now. There are certain factors that lead to that assumption. The Al Qaeeda leaders are very concerned of their public image even though it may appear that the foot soldiers don't care. The fact that Pierre is gravely ill could be the end of him medically on the one side but could also be his saving grace on the other. It would harm their public image to execute a critically ill man. The fact that Pierre is South African is another major factor in his favour. They will have a hard time to convince their backers and supporters why they executed a man from Africa, specifically South Africa, as they have no conflict,grudge or any negative aspects against us.
This analysis is based on a video released by an Al Qaeeda leader, Qassim al-Reimy, regarded as the fifth most wanted man in the world, and based in Yemen,when he publicly apologised, through a video message,for the killing of innocent civilians in a hospital based in the Ministry of Defense in Sana'a on 5 December 2013 when 9 Al Qaeeda operatives attacked. He said that the fighter responsible for the killing was one of the 9 who had not followed instructions. In his video Qassim refers to all military buildings, intelligence agents, spies, etc as legitimate targets. It is implied that citizens of those countries are therefore, legitimate targets. Pierre doesn't fit any of his "targeted" enemies so how will they explain an execution let alone a ransom. If we can circulate Yolande's video extensively into the Middle East once everyone is back to work tomorrow as Sunday is the first day of the week, we may succeed in reaching some of the leaders. We have to reach someone who is reasonable enough to make a rational decision.
There have been several questions concerning the press release by some international media agencies about an anonymous tribal mediator who mentions that Pierre Korkie will not be executed even though the deadline for ransom has expired. It may well be that someone could have sent this message but how authentic is this person. First of all there was no tribal mediator involved in Yolande's release except our representative, Anas al-Hamati. Where did this mediator suddenly surface from mysteriously? The reality is that "everyone" in Yemen is a "negotiator" and a "mediator". In the 9 months that we tried to locate the Korkies from May 2013-January 2014 we had numerous "leaders" approach us. For a "decent" fee they would point out who the kidnappers are, where the Korkies were kept, how they could negotiate their release. All of them without exception were bogus. I hope we don't have a similar situation here with the emergence of this mystery tribal mediator. Can he produce proof of life? Can he arrange for us to talk to Pierre? If not, we will not pay too much attention to this "lead".
Whilst this "mediator" was emphasising Pierre's ill health, this morning at 1am I received a text message from another unknown person who mentions that Pierre is in GOOD health and they can assist with the release quickly if the ransom money is brought speedily. I wonder how many more of these specialists are going to contact us now. For now we wait for something authentic.