Tuesday, January 17, 2006

American Journalist Kidnapped In Baghdad

UPDATE XI - Apr. 01, 2006
To everyone who's attacked Jill Carroll after the prapaganda video was posted on a jihadist website, you need to read her statement regarding the whole ordeal [Via Mark From Ireland]:

During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me they would let me go if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. I agreed.

Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views. They are not. The people who kidnapped me and murdered Alan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Alan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends--and all those around the world, who have prayed so fervently for my release--through a horrific experience. I was, and remain, deeply angry with the people who did this.

I also gave a TV interview to the Iraqi Islamic Party shortly after my release. The party had promised me the interview would never be aired on television, and broke their word. At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear I said I wasn't threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times.

Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: That I refused to travel and cooperate with the US military and that I refused to discuss my captivity with US officials. Again, neither is true.


I hope this stops the speculations posted on many blogs.

UPDATE X - Mar. 31, 2006
For people who think they know it all, here's something for you:

CAIRO - The night before journalist Jill Carroll's release, her captors said they had one final demand as the price of her freedom: She would have to make a video praising her captors and attacking the United States, according to Jim Carroll.

In a long phone conversation with his daughter on Friday, Mr. Carroll says that Jill was "under her captor's control."

Ms. Carroll had been their captive for three months and even the smallest details of her life - what she ate and when, what she wore, when she could speak - were at her captors' whim. They had murdered her friend and colleague Allan Enwiya, "she had been taught to fear them," he says. And before making one last video the day before her release, she was told that they had already killed another American hostage.
"Her professionalism and objectivity were unparalleled within the media community," Capt. Patrick Kerr, a Marine public affairs officer who got to know Carroll last December, when she spent a month with a Marine unit in Western Iraq, said in an e-mail. "I saw her in Husaybah, on the Syrian border, in early December shortly before I returned to the States. Aside from being very personable and down-to-earth, what really struck me was Jill's bravery. She seemed to fit right in with the marines and Iraqi security forces," he wrote in January.

Read more from The Christian Science Monitor

And let's not forget the two Iraqi journalists who are STILL held hostage by God knows which group.

UPDATE IX - Mar. 30, 2006
Thank you to everyone who woke me up this morning to the best news in a very long time. Jill Carroll is alive and FREE.

UPDATE VIII - Feb. 10, 2006
Jill appeared in a video on Kuwaiti Al Rai TV station. MSNBC News Services reports:

KUWAIT CITY - Kidnappers holding American journalist Jill Carroll say they will carry out a threat to kill her unless their demands are met by a Feb. 26 deadline, Kuwait’s Al Rai TV said on Friday, citing sources close to her captors.

In response to a question from Reuters, Al Rai chairman Jassem Boodai declined to specify the kidnappers’ demands. In previous videos, Carroll has said her captors are demanding that all female prisoners in Iraq be freed.

“The demands are specific. We have passed them on to the authorities,” Boodai told Reuters.

The private television station said sources reported Carroll was being held in a house in Baghdad along with other women.


I hope the Iraqi authorities work on this tip to find Jill and the other women.

UPDATE VII - Jan. 21, 2006
Al-Jazeera explained the reason Jill Carroll's video had no sound:

Al-Jazeera says it deals with tapes on the basis of news value.

When tapes come in -- the network rarely says how it gets them -- Al-Jazeera's editors wrangle over what portions, if any, they can air, al-Sheikh said.

In the case of the bin Laden message broadcast Thursday, the station played only a few minutes of the 10-minute tape, based on what it considered important, he said. The entire tape was transcribed and posted on Al-Jazeera's Web site.

Tapes of kidnap victims are the most problematic. When they arrive, the station gets in touch with the hostage's embassy and asks a representative to view the tape and contact the family. Only when the family is notified does Al-Jazeera air any footage, al-Sheikh said.

Even then, it airs only parts that show the victim in "the most humane light possible," he said. Al-Jazeera's editorial policies now prohibit it from carrying the voices of kidnappers or their victims.


It will be nice to have the same policy when it comes to airing OBL messages.

UPDATE VI - Jan. 18, 2006
Here's the latest from Christian Science Monitor:

WASHINGTON – Calls for the release of kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll poured in from around the world on Wednesday following the broadcast of a brief video showing her in captivity.
Those calling upon her abductors in Iraq to show mercy included senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, and some of Iraq's most influential Sunni Arab leaders, including Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Iraqi Accordance Front.

Ms. Carroll was abducted in Baghdad on Jan. 7, about 300 yards from Dr. Dulaimi's office. She had intended to meet with him that morning.

Kidnapping is un-Islamic, Dr. Dulaimi said Wednesday. "Publish this statement on my behalf condemning this act, although it's going to expose me to danger," he said by telephone from Kuwait, where he was attending the funeral of Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al- Sabah, the country's late leader.

"We reject this act. It is absolutely condemned. We will do as much as possible to release Jill," said Dr. Dulaimi


For the last three year, I read almost every report published about Iraq by the Christian Science Monitor. Their Iraq In Transition section is one of the best regarding the situation in Iraq. I never looked at the reporter's name. During the last days, I realized I read almost every report she wrote for the Monitor.

Most Iraqi expats move to Western countries and become citizens of those countries in a few years. In my case, I became a citizen of Australia in two years. Jill has been in Iraq for almost three years. She's called Iraq home. She's more Iraqi than anyone can put it into words.

My heart is with her family and friends. I pray for her safe return.

UPDATE V - Jan. 17, 2006
She's still alive. Here's what the Associated Press reported this afternoon:

CAIRO, Egypt - An Arab television channel aired a silent 20-second videotape Tuesday night of an abducted American journalist and said an accompanying message gave the U.S. 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq or the journalist would be killed.

Al-Jazeera would not tell AP from whom it received the tape, but issued an a statement itself calling for Jill Carroll's release. A producer for the network said the tape showed Carroll sitting in front of a white background and speaking, but her voice could not be heard.


Why bother asking Al-Jazeera who deliver these tapes. We all know they magically fall from the sky into the studios of Al-Jazeera.

I saw the video on MSNBC. She looked strong; but bit tired. I hope she returns home safely to her family and friends.

UPDATE IV - Jan. 9, 2006
The blackout is over. The Christian Science Monitor published the details an hour ago:

BAGHDAD AND PARIS – Jill Carroll, a freelance journalist currently on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor, was abducted by unknown gunmen in Baghdad Saturday morning. Her Iraqi interpreter was killed during the kidnapping.

"I saw a group of people coming as if they had come from the sky," recalled Ms. Carroll's driver, who survived the attack. "One guy attracted my attention. He jumped in front of me screaming, 'Stop! Stop! Stop!' with his left hand up and a pistol in his right hand."

One of the kidnappers pulled the driver from the car, jumped in, and drove away with several others huddled around Carroll and her interpreter, said the driver, who asked not to be identified. "They didn't give me any time to even put the car in neutral," he recounted.

The body of the interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, 32, was later found in the same neighborhood. He had been shot twice in the head, law enforcement officials said. There has been no word yet on Carroll's whereabouts.

The kidnapping occurred within 300 yards of the office of Adnan al-Dulaimi, a prominent Sunni politician, whom Carroll had been intending to interview at 10 a.m. Saturday local time, the driver said.

Mr. Dulaimi, however, turned out not to be at his office, and after 25 minutes, Carroll and her interpreter left. Their car was stopped as she drove away. "It was very obvious this was by design," said the driver. "The whole operation took no more than a quarter of a minute. It was very highly organized. It was a setup, a perfect ambush."


It was obviousely a setup by Al-Dulaimi office.

UPDATE III - Jan. 8, 2006
Gulf Times reported on their website:

Officials said the reporter was seized on her way to interview prominent Sunni Arab politician Adnan al-Dulaimi.

A guard outside Dulaimi’s office said he heard gunshots fired a short distance away and rushed to find the body of a slain man.

Dulaimi himself said he had no appointment to meet a Western journalist.

People living in the neighbourhood, which has been cordoned off by US and Iraqi security forces, were frightened and refused to talk to journalists.


I can't find another source to verify Dulaimi's statement.

UPDATE II - Jan. 8, 2006
I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist. But this sounds like a setup by the Al-Dulaimi office or someone from his office who knew they were heading that way. There are similarities between this case and Daniel Pearl's case. I hope she stays safe.

I'm furious that her name can't be mentioned publicly. But, I'll keep my mouth shut as requested. I had to deliver the bad the news to her ex-flatmate's friend who contacted me this morning to verify it was her. This is just wrong.

UPDATE I - Jan. 7, 2006
I removed the journalist name upon a request from Reporters Without Borders who are negotiating her release. But, I have this word to say to anyone who is negotiating her release

If you think the life of one American is worth more than the lives of tens of Iraqis who are killed by suicide bombers -- the suicide bombers are financed by ransoms paid in such cases -- then go ahead and pay them to secure her release. But try to remember the ordinary Iraqis lose their lives as a result of such payments.

ORIGINAL POST Jan. 7, 2006A Female American journalist has been kidnapped in Baghdad on Saturday.
scotsman.com has the details:

Major Falah Mohamadawi said gunmen kidnapped the American journalist and killed her translator.

According to Mohamadawi, the translator told police before he died that she had been kidnapped and that they had been heading to meet Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front who lives in the Adel neighbourhood - dominated by Sunni Arabs and considered one of toughest in Baghdad.

According to Samir Najim, a guard at al-Dulaimi's office, three armed men in a red Opel car intercepted the journalist's car and shot the translator before taking her in their car and driving away.

The kidnapping took place about 100 meters from al-Dulaimi's office.


Isn't Al-Dulaimi the guy with ties to terrorist groups in Iraq? Just wondering.

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