Two Years Since ISIS Kidnapping of Tomislav Salopek

Total Croatia News

A sad anniversary.

Two years ago, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant kidnapped Croatian citizen Tomislav Salopek in Egypt. The news of his kidnapping was reported two days later. The AFP announced that a Croatian citizen who worked as a geodetic technician for the CGG company was kidnapped in Cairo while he was driving to work in his official car, reports on 22 July 2017.

The news about the kidnapping near Cairo shocked his family, Vrpolje, where he lived, and whole Croatia. On 5 August, the Islamic State published a footage in which it threatened to execute Tomislav Salopek, if “Muslim women from Egyptian prisons” were not released within the following 48 hours.

A diplomatic initiative was immediately launched from the Croatian side which, together with Egyptian colleagues, went to search for Salopek. Then Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić went to Cairo together with Salopek’s wife, while the 48-hour ultimatum of the kidnappers expired. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović spoke with her Egyptian counterpart, and Tomislav’s father appealed to kidnappers to release him. Representatives of the Islamic Community in Croatia also demanded his release. The company he worked for tried to get in touch with the kidnappers, but there was no reply.

After the expiration of the ISIS deadline, there was no news about Tomislav until 12 August, when footage was released showing masked terrorists executing him. The body has never been found, and many analysts believe that it will probably never be found and returned to the family. Families of other ISIS prisoners who have been executed have also not received their bodies.

His family and Vrpolje even today believe that their Tomislav is alive and that he will appear once again in the town. “This day will pass normally as if nothing had happened because for the family and Vrpolje this is not the end. We are still waiting for our Tomislav to return”, said Municipal Mayor Ankica Zmaić on the first anniversary of the abduction. Therefore, she added at the time, the municipality had not organized any special event to mark the anniversary because they hoped he was still alive.

Tomislav left behind him his wife Nataša and two young children. At the time of his abduction, Tomislav was planning an annual vacation with his family.

The Egyptian authorities announced in November 2015 that Salopek’s killer and leading militant in Egypt, Ahraf Ali al-Gharabali, had been killed.

Translated from


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