An online image circulated today purports to show a Croatian hostage held by the Islamic State's Egyptian affiliate beheaded. The still image, shared by ISIS sympathizers on social media, showed the apparent body of Tomislav Salopek, a married, 30-year-old father of two, wearing a beige jumpsuit looking like the one he had worn in a previous video. A black ISIS flag and a knife were planted in the sand next to him. The photo carried a caption in Arabic that said Salopek was killed "for his country's participation in the war against the Islamic State," and after a Friday deadline had passed for Egyptian authorities to free "Muslim women," a term referring to female Islamist prisoners.
The picture also contained an inset of two Egyptian newspaper reports, with one headline declaring Croatia's support of Egypt in its war against terrorism and extremism and another saying Croatia reiterated its support for the Kurdistan region. Newsweek reports Salopek apparently wasn't held very long: He was kidnapped July 22 while en route to Cairo while working for the French geoscience company CG; his LinkedIn profile relays work as a topographer and surveyor. The Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had previously released a statement saying Salopek was stopped "while driving a take-home vehicle to work" and that a "group of armed men ... forced him to get out of the car and drove away with him in an unknown direction." (Read more ISIS stories.)