The body of an Italian peace and human rights activist, member of the Free Gaza Movement, was found on Friday at dawn in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip, medial sources reported. The activist was identified as Vittorio Arrigoni. On Thursday, the Jahidst Salafi group, an outlawed terrorist group that aligns itself with the Al Qaeda Terrorist network, released a video of Arrigoni, and threatened to execute by 5 PM Palestinian time unless Hamas forces release one of the groups’ prominent leaders.
The group calls itself The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammad Bin Muslima, a formerly unknown group.
A security official in the Gaza Strip stated that two men have been detained for questioning, and that the security forces are hunting down more suspects.
The Italian peace activist is also a member of the International Solidarity Movement, and is known for his solidarity and human rights activities in support of the Palestinian people and their struggle against the Israeli occupation. Arrigoni was kidnapped by three gunmen in Gaza City.
The group was demanding the release of several Salfist prisoners detained by Hamas. It also demanded the release of Sheikh Al Saidani (known as Abu Walid Al Maqdisi), the leader of Tawhid and Jihad group, affiliated with the Al Qaida.
Al Saidani, an Egyptian by birth, was arrested by the Egyptian Security Services more than a month ago for involvement in a number of attacks. In 2006, the Al Maqdisi group claimed responsibility for attacks targeting hotels in Sinai, Egypt, killing nineteen people.