British construction worker Chris McManus was captured by Al Qaida operatives operating in northern Nigeria.
A group calling itself "Al Qaida in the land beyond the Sahil" claimed responsibility for the kidnap of McManus and his Italian colleague Franco Lamolinara.
In the last two years, the north of Nigeria has been plauged by violence orchestrated by radical Muslim sect Boko Haram, which has been associated with the Al Qaida network.
The extremist group has been blamed for almost daily attacks, including shootings and bombings, that have killed hundreds of Nigerian people.
The death toll has dramatically increased as attacks performed by the group have become more sophisticated and coordinated.
Today, Boko Haram insurgents attacked a police station and two banks in the north of the country, leaving seven dead.
The group has also been accused for organising two mass prison breaks since September 2010 - freeing more than 800 inmates.
Boko Haram's activities have contributed to the wavering instability of the country in the last few years.
Since 2008 there have been a number of foreigners kidnaped while working in Nigeria.
In September 2008, two Britons were held by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta.
A Scottish oil worker was abducted and his guard killed in April 2009, in the Rivers State capital Port Harcourt.
Three Britons and a Colombian were kidnapped in January 2010 and in November of the same year, four men from the US, Canada and France were taken 7.5 miles offshore on the Okoro field.
In January last year, two French hostages were kidnapped from Niamey, the capital of neighbouring Niger to Nigeria's north.