Escape From Al Qaeda

A French engineer in northern Nigeria was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists belonging to an Al Qaeda affiliate. After being held for nearly a year, he escaped from captivity a few days ago.

In the video below, Francis Collomp describes how he managed to outwit his captors. Many thanks to Oz-Rita for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:00   It’s an exhausted man who accepts to tell us about his Calvary.
0:04   Seven days ago Francis Collomp escaped
0:08   from his jailers. “These people have always killed their hostages,
0:12   and they (killed) especially those who tried to escape.
0:16   So I knew if I failed
0:20   I was dead. It was in my genes
0:24   under my skin, in my reactions.” From the start
0:28   Francis Collomp thinks only of escaping. After eleven months of incarceration
0:32   in different houses in the North of Nigeria, he owes his freedom
0:36   to his audacity and an error by one of his kidnappers. “Usually
0:40   he opened the door of my room.
0:44   He took the keys, put them back inside and he went
0:48   towards the shower, which had another door
0:52   and toilets, where he made his ablutions before prayers
0:56   On this day he had forgotten
1:00   the keys on the outside from me,
1:04   I said to myself: little man, if you forget the keys
1:08   once more… so I started preparing
1:12   the items I had planned for my escape, and indeed, that evening
1:16   he forgot the keys again.” “so You locked him in?”. Yes.
1:20   I owe my escape to an error from a guardian.
1:24   Did you run to find a moto-taxi? My aim was
1:28   to not run, because I didn’t want
1:32   to attract attention from the locals as I did not know where I was.
1:36   I had taken some water and a jacket for the night.
1:40   He then takes a taxi, explaining he had been robbed and wanted to go to the police
1:45   15 minutes of fear of being recaptured by his kidnappers.
1:49   They mistreated him but he stood up to them.
1:53   “They tried to convert me.
1:57   Let’s say… I did not welcome this.
2:01   I don’t want to (inaudible) these kind of people
2:05   I don’t want to describe it here
2:09   …these people, in my opinion
2:13   …they don’t deserve to exist.
2:17   they deserve to die. They made you suffer? Yeah.
2:21   Sometimes they beat me with stick/batons.
2:25   Let’s not talk too much about this subject
2:29   In no way will I accept
2:33   being described as a hero, because
2:37   if you are hostage you are not a hero, you are (…?)
2:41   you are threatened with death etc.,
2:45   you become… nothing… or like a dog who
2:49   wants his food… etc.
2:53   So, to keep going there was this precious notebook. Every day
2:57   this 63-year-old engineer wrote down his ideas for machines
3:01   to escape, even in thought. On leaving
3:05   he is overcome with emotion
3:09   …to have escaped.. errr…
3:13   He salutes the memory of two French journalists
3:17   whose death he heard about
3:21   two weeks before his escape. I have to leave now, or I’ll crack up.

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