|03-30-2006, 03:08 PM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2002
Hostage Freed in Iraq
US woman hostage freed in Iraq
By Philippe Naughton and agencies
Jill Carroll, an American freelance reporter, was freed today almost 12 weeks after being abducted at gunpoint on a Baghdad street but said that she still had no idea why she was kidnapped or by whom.
Ms Carroll, 28, was delivered this morning to an office of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Baghdad's Amriya district, a stronghold of Sunni Muslim insurgents.
"I was treated well - they didn’t hit me or threaten me - but I don't know why I was kidnapped," Ms Carroll said. "I am happy to be free. I just want to be with my family quickly."
In a brief interview with Baghdad Television, a station run by the party to which her captors gave her up, the journalist looked composed and in good health. She was wearing a light green Islamic headscarf and a grey Arabic robe.
She said that she had a comfortable room and was able to wash when she wanted, but did not know where she was held. Only once was she allowed access to a newspaper.
Asked who had kidnapped her and why, she said, in remarks translated by the station: "I don’t know. You should ask the mujahideen."
Ms Carroll, who had lived in Iraq since October 2003 working for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, was seized on January 7 by armed men who shot dead her interpreter. The abduction embarrassed Sunni Muslim leaders since she had just left an appointment to interview a leading Sunni politician when she was seized.
Her release comes a week after an SAS-led force rescued three Christian peace activists, including Norman Kember, a retired professor from North London. Yesterday Ms Carroll's twin sister Katie made an emotional appeal for her freedom broadcast on an Arabic television station.
Soon after her release she was taken to the fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, which houses government ministries and the US and UK embassies and delivered into the care of US officials.
Ms Carroll's father Jim, with whom she spoke soon after her release, told reporters on the porch of his hom in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: "Obviously we are thrilled and relieved that she has been released. We want to thank all that have supported and prayed for her."
The reporter had appeared in three videos broadcast on Arab television since her abduction while her captors, which called itself the Brigades of Vengeance, set numerous deadlines threatening to kill her if US-led forces failed to release all female detainees in Iraq.
Bayan Jabr, the Iraqi Interior Minister, said last month that Ms Carroll was in fact being held by the Islamic Army in Iraq, the insurgent group that held two French journalists for four months.
Yesterday, Katie Carroll had appealed for her sister's release on the Dubai-based al-Arabiya television. "It has been nearly two months since the last video of my sister was broadcast. We have had no contact with her nor received any information about her condition," she said.
"I’ve been living a nightmare, worrying if she is hurt or ill. There is no one I hold closer to my heart than my sister and I am deeply worried wondering how she is being treated. No family should have to endure having their loved one taken away from them in this way."
She said that after three years in Iraq Jill "has many Iraqi friends, and respects their culture".
She added: "My sister has always had special praise for the strength and resilience of Iraqi women and mothers. I also hope that those with Jill have come to know her -- that they recognise what a wonderful person she is and realise that they can show the world that they are merciful to an innocent woman by returning her safely home to us."
Mr Kember and his two Canadian colleagues from the Christian Peacemaker Teams organisation were found tied up in a house in western Baghdad, although their captors had fled and no shots were fired. An American abducted with them, Tom Fox, was killed three weeks ago and his battered body dumped near a railway line.
|03-31-2006, 01:19 PM||#3|
lets go partner
Join Date: Oct 2004
Some more info...
JILL CARROLL, the American journalist held hostage in Iraq, was freed yesterday in Baghdad after nearly three months in captivity.
She appeared almost immediately on Iraqi television to say that she had been treated very well by her captors. Her release sparked a huge outpouring of relief across America.
Looking in good health, Ms Carroll, 28, who was kidnapped on January 7 in a bloody ambush that killed her translator, said that she had spent her captivity in a small room with a frosted window, “a very good, small safe place, safe room. Nice furniture”.
She said: “They gave me clothing, plenty of food. I was allowed to take showers, go to the bathroom when I wanted. They never hit me. They never even threatened to hit me. I was treated very well. It’s important people know that. I’m just happy to be free. I just want to be with my family.”
Tareq al-Hashemi, the leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of the country’s main Sunni political organisations, said that Ms Carroll had walked into one of his party’s offices in the Sunni stronghold of Amriya, western Baghdad, after being dropped off in the street by her captors.
She walked inside, handed over papers that said she was the American journalist Jill Carroll, and workers there called their party leaders and US officials. Shortly afterwards Ms Carroll, a freelance journalist with the Christian Science Monitor, gave an interview to Baghdad Television, which is run by the Iraqi Islamic Party.
Wearing glasses, a green hijab and a grey Arabic robe, Ms Carroll said that she did not know what led to her release. “They just came to me early this morning and said:‘OK, we are letting you go now’.”
She said that during her captivity she had no idea where she was. “I did once watch television, but I didn’t really know what was going on in the outside world. Here and there I would get some news. One time they brought me the newspaper.”
She conceded that at times “it was difficult because I didn’t know what would happen to me”.
Ms Carroll is the fourth Western hostage to be freed in the past week. On March 23 a military raid, led by British special forces, freed the Briton Norman Kember, 74, and two Canadians, James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32. The three Christian peace activists had been held hostage for four months. Their US colleague, Tom Fox, 54, was found murdered in a Baghdad street on March 9.
Jim Carroll, her father, said he was asleep at home in North Carolina when the telephone rang at about 6am. “Hi, Dad. This is Jill. I’m released,” the voice on the other end of the line said. Mr Carroll said: “It was quite a wake-up call. It was a fantastic conversation and we are feeling ecstatic.”
Ms Carroll’s father and her mother, Mary Beth Carroll, had made several televised appeals broadcast in Iraq imploring her captors to release her. They highlighted their daughter’s articles in the Christian Science Monitor, which had focused on the problems of ordinary Iraqis since the US-led invasion.
“Our priority now is helping Jill to recover from her ordeal. When we feel the time is appropriate, we will release more details about her experience,” a family statement said.
President Bush, during a summit in Cancún, Mexico, was asked for his reaction. He saide: “Thank God. I’m really grateful she was released and thank those who worked hard for her release.”
Last night Ms Carroll, who since her abduction had appeared in three videos released by her captors, was at the US Embassy in Baghdad.
Details of why she was released were not available, but Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador to Iraq, said that US officials were not involved in negotiating her freedom. He said: “She is safe, she is free and she appears in good health and in great spirits. I want to thank Iraqi leaders who worked for her freedom.”
Her captors called themselves the Vengeance Brigade and demanded that all female prisoners in Iraq be released by February 26. They said Ms Carroll would be killed if that did not happen. The date came and went with no word about her fate. Her twin sister, Katie, issued a plea for her release on al-Arabiya television on Wednesday night.
Many Sunni leaders were embarrassed when Ms Carroll was abducted and her interpreter, Allan Enwiyah, was killed by gunmen. The Islamic Party, where she was dropped yesterday, had appealed for her release. After her interview, Mr al-Hashemi gave her a Koran and in said in English: “Don’t forget the Iraqi people.”
Thousands of Iraqis have been kidnapped in the past three years and more than 250 foreigners have been taken hostage. At least 40 non-Iraqis have been killed. Two German and two Kenyan engineers are among those still held.
# Gunmen ambushed and killed eight workers and wounded one from Iraq’s main oil refinery in the northern city of Baiji. Police said that the workers’ minibus was stopped by the gunmen while they were heading out of the refinery.
In Baghdad the bodies of two people were found in different districts in the capital. Three civilians were wounded when a roadside bomb hit a police patrol in the city centre. One US airman was killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb near Baghdad.
Five police commandos were wounded when a suicide bomber in a car attacked their convoy in southwest Baghdad A police officer was killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb hit their patrol in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.
# At least 280 foreigners have been kidnapped since the 2003 invasion, of whom 46 were killed, 141 released, three have escaped, three rescued and 87 unaccounted for
# The first Westerner to be murdered by his kidnappers was Nick Berg, a Jewish American businessman who was beheaded in May 2004. The Briton Ken Bigley was decapitated in October 2004
# 30 Iraqis are kidnapped every day but only 5-10 per cent of these are reported. £17,000 is the average amount demanded in ransom
# Hostages held for long periods include Roy Hallums, an American who was kidnapped on November 1, 2004 and released nearly a year later. Florence Aubenas, a French reporter, was taken on January 5, 2005, with her guide. They were freed on June 11
# Among those still believed missing are Jeffrey Ake, an American aid worker, who was captured on April 11, 2005, and German engineers Thomas Nitzschke and Rene Baraeunlich, kidnapped on January 24 this year
# 86 journalists and media assistants have been killed since the start of fighting in Iraq; two are missing. 29 have been kidnapped
|04-01-2006, 08:28 PM||#5|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Carroll is lucky, her driver wasn't so lucky. The Bush war has killed thousands, maimed 10s of thousands and is bankrupting our country, all for a personal pissing match between him and saddam.
|04-01-2006, 09:39 PM||#6|
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elway was just an arm =MacGruder
good news ...... she was damn lucky ......... I guess now we should thank Bush for this war , without this war she never gets kidnaped , then released , and we dont have a feel good story out of it ..........
|04-01-2006, 10:13 PM||#7|
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elway was just an arm =MacGruder
Jill Carroll , she did what she had to do ....... http://movies.crooksandliars.com/CBS...ll-Carroll.wmv
I wonder if the Kool aid drinking yellow republicans that supports Bush but wont go to Iraq , would have done the same ?