Al Qaeda's North Africa branch claimed Wednesday it is holding hostage a senior U.N. peace envoy, his aide and four tourists kidnapped in the Sahara Desert in recent weeks.Tourists? Seriously? What the f-ck is there to "tour" in the middle of the desert on the Algeria/Mali border? I know Europeans have a liberal definition of what constitutes an acceptable "vacation" but you'd think even they might not be intrigued by sand, rock, and camel shit. Here's a pic from Google:
The United Nations special envoy for Niger, Robert Fowler, and his aide Louis Guay, both Canadian diplomats, were kidnapped Dec. 14 in the southern Sahara country.
Four tourists, including two Swiss, a German woman and a British man, were kidnapped by gunmen Jan. 22 near the border in neighboring Mali, their tour operator said.
"We announce to the general public that the mujahideen (holy warriors) reserve the right to deal with the six kidnapped according to Islamic Shariah law," Al Qaeda in North Africa's purported spokesman, Salah Abu Mohammed, told the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera overnight Wednesday.
There, you've seen the middle of nowhere and didn't have to risk being kidnapped and beheaded by barbarians.