Robert Hall

Terrorist group threatens to behead former Campbell River residents

One of two former residents of Campbell River being held by terrorists in the southern Philippines will be killed if a $16 million ransom is not paid by 3 p.m. June 13.

Canadian citizen Robert Hall and Norwegian citizen Kjartan Sekkingstad appear in a video released by the extremist group Abu Sayyaf. In the video, Hall appeals to the Canadian and Philippine governments to help. Subtitles in the video say Abu Sayyaf “is giving another ultimatum to the Canadian, Norwegian and Philippine government (sic). If our RANSOM demand with 6 hundred million pesos is not given. We will behead another Foreign Hostage on JUNE 13 (Monday) at exactly 3 p.m.”

Hall, his Filipina companion Marites Flor and Sekkingstad were captured Sept. 21 along with fellow Canadian John Ridsdel. Gunmen from the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf took them captive at the Holiday Ocean View Samal Resort in the Philippines. The Canadian government received word on April 25 that Ridsdel had been executed by beheading and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the act. The Canadian government has said publicly that it doesn’t pay ransoms.

Hall used to live in Campbell River before embarking on a sailing trip that took him to the Philippines. He spent some time here acting in locally-produced films and developed friends here. Sekkingstad, meanwhile, also used to live in Campbell River, managing fish farms north of here. His last job in Canada was as manager of Scandic Seafood’s farms outside Gold River/Zeballos. The 56-year-old sailed to the Philippines about 10 years ago to pursue a leisurely life of sailing and exploring.

The federal government is reportedly aware of the new video posted May 13 and discovered by the SITE Intelligence Group but will not say anything publicly about it.

Kjartan Sekkingstad