October 02, 2004

Dutch Intelligence Raids Bigley Brother's Home

Very strange, via M. H. King this story. If you read the story, though, the gist of it is that the terrorists are using Bigley's ordeal to manipulate British public opinion. Something I've been saying for awhile now (see here and here). Telegraph:

Dutch intelligence officers raided the home of Kenneth Bigley's brother last night. An intelligence officer from the Foreign Office is understood to have accompanied them to Paul Bigley's home in Amsterdam.

The raid came amid claims that the British hostage was free to roam his kidnappers' home in Iraq and was "caged" only for terrorist videos.

Paul Bigley's computer was seized and he was interrogated about his alleged contact with the Tawhid and Jihad group, which yesterday claimed responsibility for Thursday's killing of at least 35 children in Baghdad.

Material from his computer was downloaded and sent back for analysis in Britain as he was forced to make a five-page statement.

Mr Bigley has been an outspoken critic of the Government's handling of his brother's case and has established his own contacts in the Middle East but denies being in direct contact with the kidnappers.

In Fallujah, Mohammed Kasim, an Iraqi-born gunman with a British passport, said the latest video of Mr Bigley showing him shackled in a cage had been staged to "terrify" the British public. There was no way of verifying the claim, particularly in a country awash with rumour and conspiracy theories.

Two of Mr Bigley's American colleagues were beheaded by the captors, believed to be the group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Gruesome footage of the murders was transmitted on the internet.

The Bigley family will take renewed hope from the account offered by Kasim.

"If they wanted to kill him they would have done this immediately after they kidnapped him," said Kasim.

"Instead they want to use him to press on the British kingdom." Kasim, 35, is one of two Britons believed to have joined the "resistance" in Fallujah, a stronghold of armed opposition to the US-led presence in Iraq.

An Iraqi translator met him in a coffee shop close to Hamid al-Hamoud mosque.

Kasim spoke fluent English, but refused to show his passport. He also declined to provide any details of where he lived in London, saying: "I want to keep my family safe."

He said he spent the mornings translating websites of foreign newspapers on behalf of the "resistance" and the afternoons manning checkpoints on the main street.

Kasim said he did not belong to Zarqawi's group, Tawhid and Jihad. But the resistance, organised under an 11-member "Mujahideen Shura council", has close ties with Zarqawi and is believed to be protecting him in Fallujah.

Kasim claimed he heard news of Mr Bigley "every day". He said the cage and chains were set up only for the video recording.

"They made this video for two reasons. They wanted to scare Tony Blair. They also wanted revenge for Saddam Hussein for the way in which he was displayed by the US military after his capture."

According to his account, Kassim was born in Fallujah and is a member of the dominant Dulaimy tribe.

He moved to Britain 12 years ago to study at a university, and says he married an Englishwoman who converted to Islam and bore him two children.

Kasim said he returned to Fallujah six months ago and said he had taken part in a raid on a US convoy.

"I am born in Iraq and I should fight with my tribe. I cannot see my town under siege and destroyed so I came from the UK to Iraq to fight.

"I was crying every night when I saw the news. I will go back to my family when the occupation ends and Iraq gets its freedom."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:06 AM | Comments |