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ISIS Kidnapping Networks – Clerics (Syria | February-July 2013)

Near East (North Africa and the Middle East)

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Rewards for Justice is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information on ISIS kidnapping networks or for information leading to the location, recovery, and return of Maher Mahfouz, Michael Kayyal, Gregorios Ibrahim, Bolous Yazigi, and Paolo Dall’Oglio.

On February 9, 2013, Greek Orthodox priest Maher Mahfouz and Armenian Catholic priest Michael Kayyal were on a public bus traveling to a monastery in Kafrun, Syria. Approximately 30 kilometers outside of Aleppo, Syria, suspected ISIS extremists stopped the vehicle, checked passengers’ documents, then removed Mahfouz and Kayyal from the bus. They have not been seen or heard from since.

On April 22, 2013, Syrian Orthodox Archbishop Gregorios Ibrahim traveled from Aleppo to Turkey to pick up Greek Orthodox Archbishop Bolous Yazigi. When they reached a checkpoint near al-Mansoura, Syria, several armed men ambushed the archbishops and seized their vehicle. The clerics’ driver was later found dead. The archbishops are believed to have been kidnapped by persons aligned with al-Nusra Front, an al-Qa’ida affiliate; however, the archbishops were later transferred to ISIS.

On July 29, 2013, ISIS abducted Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio in Raqqah, Syria. Father Dall’Oglio had planned to meet with ISIS to ask for the release of Mahfouz, Kayyal, Ibrahim, and Yazigi. He has not been seen or heard from since.

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Associated Location(s):

Syria

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