October 22, 2004

New Video Threatens Hostage Margaret Hassan with Beheading: She pleads for Blair to cave to terrorist demands

UPDATE 11/16: Margaret Hassan has been executed on video. Check this post for 11/16 update or go to MAIN PAGE for news, links to video, and images of hostages in Iraq.

This is eerily reminiscent of Kenneth Bigley's ordeal. Now the terrorists are demanding that the British must not move troops into Central Iraq, as Tony Blair pledged to do just yesterday. Earlier I had speculated that Hassan would be released unharmed. Today, I am not so sure. ABC News:

Margaret Hassan, the kidnapped director of CARE International in Iraq, appeared on a videotape aired Friday, weeping and pleading with British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw troops from Iraq "and not bring them to Baghdad" because "this might be my last hours."

"Please help me. Please help me," said a terrified Hassan, breaking down in tears and burying her face in a tissue. She said she might be killed like British hostage Kenneth Bigley, who was beheaded by his captors earlier this month.

"This might be my last hours," she said in the video aired by the Arabic television station Al-Jazeera. She begged the British people to "ask Mr. Blair to take the troops out of Iraq, and not to bring them here to Baghdad. That's why people like Mr. Bigely and myself are being caught. And maybe we will die like Mr. Bigley. Please, please, I beg of you."

Hassan an Irish-British-Iraqi national who has been doing humanitarian work in Iraq for 30 years, including distributing medicine and food appeared haggard, her eyes baggy as she stood alone in front of a bare wall....

Blair's government agreed Wednesday to move some 850 troops from the southern Basra region to more dangerous central Iraq despite opposition within his own Labour Party, where some believed the move puts Britons in greater danger and serves to boost President Bush ahead of November elections.

The U.S. military requested the British redeployment to allow American forces to launch a new offensive to put down Sunni insurgents who control swaths of central Iraq ahead of Iraq's crucial elections, scheduled for January.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:58 AM | Comments |