A new photo of kidnapped Australian man Warren Rodwell has emerged accompanied by a death threat.
The photo was reportedly posted on Facebook by a group called Al Harakatul Al-Islamiyyah, believed to be a reference to the name of terrorist group, the Abu Sayyaf.
Filipino social networking site The Rappler re-posted the picture, which shows Rodwell posing with a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from January 25, 2013.
Intelligence sources told The Rappler that the post is authentic, and that they had been warned about it.
The post said: “To the Australian government, in behalf of the majlisus Shura of Alharakatul Islamiyya in southern Philippines, we officially inform you that your citizen Warren Rodwell is in our custody and control since he was abducted at Ipil, Sibugay Province, Mindanao Philippines last December 5, 2011 and now facing Islamic sharee’ah.”
“If you have concerned (sic) with your men, we will give you a chance to save his life before it’s too late, as soon as possible time (sic), otherwise he will suffer unusual way of Death,” the group added.
Rodwell is being held hostage by militants in southern Philippine jungles after his kidnap from his seashore house.
A video of him was released late in 2012 showing him looking haggard and thin as proof of his life.
He said in the video: "This video clip is to say that I'm alive. I am waiting to be released," he said, then added a few second later: "I personally hold no hope at all for being released."
He said he knew little of what was going on around him but said he understood that there were negotiations underway.
At the time, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said the "confirmation of Mr Rodwell's welfare is welcome" but described his prolonged captivity as a "major concern"."The Philippines government has the lead in response to this case and is devoting significant resources to securing Mr Rodwell's release," Carr said in a statement."The Australian government is assisting Philippines authorities where appropriate."
Carr said government officials were also in regular contact with Rodwell's family and it would "not be helpful to Mr Rodwell to comment further".He has not yet commented on the recent photograph and death threat. Mr Rodwell is a former Australian soldier who also worked as a university teacher in Shanghai .He married a Filipino he met over the Internet in June 2011 and moved to her town in Zamboanga Sibugay province. He was one of the latest foreigners abducted in the Philippines' volatile south, where several kidnappings for ransom have been blamed on the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which uses the money for food, weapons and other items.