Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making it clear that Canada does not pay ransom to terrorists for hostages.
Speaking after a cabinet retreat in Kananaskis, Trudeau once again commented on the death of Calgarian John Ridsdel, who was killed Monday by militants in the Philippines.
He was captured in September and held for ransom.
Trudeau says Canadians everywhere would be in danger if Canada paid ransom to terrorists.
He also says ransoms allow terrorists to have more funds to commit similar crimes.
Terrorism Expert on Ransoms:
Terrorism expert Christian Leuprecht, from the Royal Military College of Canada, says most governments don’t pay because they worry about encouraging more kidnappings and offending political allies. “The Philippines are our long-time ally. They, of course, don’t want governments or other entities to pay, not only because it makes everybody else more vulnerable to abduction but of course it also gives those groups resources when the government is trying to fight those groups.”
Leuprecht notes the Philippine military has been quite effective in battling the extremist group responsible. “They’re down to somewhere between 200 – 400 fighters, which is down from 2,000 at their peak. So, a much depleted group that is in dire need of resources. The use organized crime tactics such as ransom and extortion and drug trafficking to get those resources.”
Professor Leuprecht says even though Canada has been successful in winning the release of hostages in the past, it’s not easy to affect a rescue in this case, because the Abu Sayyaf group is made of family compacts. “This group has always been limited in its reach and also in its ability to expand, but it also means that it is a very tight-knit group that is very difficult to infiltrate and in rather inhospitable terrain which makes it inherently difficult to mount any sort of rescue operation.”