Danish media have had the information about the kidnapping for a long time, but refrained from publishing information about it for security reasons. Sources close to the situation said that extremists from the group “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) are behind the abduction of the 25-year-old photographer, who was freed after the group received a ransom. According to media reports, Ottosen was a good gymnast, and in order to get money for his ransom, his family contacted a number of gymnastic societies.
Armed conflict between the government and the opposition continues in Syria since March 2011. During this time, more than 150,000 people were killed in the country. Syrian authorities say they face resistance of heavily armed militants who are supported from the outside.
ISIL militants, who had been fighting until recently in Syria, began an offensive in Iraq in early June, where they have captured major cities of Mosul and Tikrit and prepare an offense against Baghdad.