These are the same type of abductions/ransom demands that we see in Somalia -- jihad piracy. And it's consistent with Islamic history -- forcing the infidel to finance their war campaigns. The first and second foreign wars of these United States were fought against this same kind of Muslim enemy. Muslim armies of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Morocco led attacks on American merchant ships and extorted ransom for the lives of captured sailors, which provided the Muslim rulers of these nations with wealth and power and the means to wage jihad.
Same jihad, different century.
Al-Qaeda leaders say "Jihad is being paid for by Europe" By Robert Spencer
European governments are financing jihad through ransom payments made to kidnappers. And that is one of the points of kidnapping Infidels in the first place. Islamic law stipulates that Muslim captors may choose to kill, enslave, or ransom their captives, or free them outright, and that the decision should be made based on which would be most beneficial to Islam. In this case, the ransom money is most beneficial to Islam, as it finances jihad.
"'Jihad is being paid for by Europe', says Al Qaeda leaders," from the BBC, December 13:The Foreign Office is warning that ransom payments made to kidnappers are directly fuelling terrorism in Mali and Yemen.
Despite a commitment from western governments not to pay ransoms, senior officials believe the problem is getting worse.
It's thought the French government paid 12 million pounds to free hostages held by Al Qaeda in Niger in October.