March 16, 2005

Iraqis: Italians Not Cooperating in Sgrena Investigation

So, the Italians pay ransom for the release of a woman who was in no danger of being harmed. The money is used by insurgents to buy weapons to kill Italians. Italy not cooperating in finding Giuliana Sgrena's captors. Italians announce withdrawal from Iraq. Sgrena's captors use money to kill Americans instead. I'm speechless.

Oh, and check this new message from al Qaeda to Italy (via LGF) “Jihad (holy war) has started to bear fruit.”

New York Times:

Iraqi investigators who are trying to find the kidnappers of the Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena say their work has been stymied by a lack of cooperation from the Italian intelligence services that won her release exactly a month after she was abducted on Feb. 4.

The Iraqi investigators say they conducted as many as half a dozen raids in a northwest Baghdad neighborhood where they think Ms. Sgrena, 56, a reporter for the far-left Rome daily Il Manifesto, was being held. But the kidnappers slipped through their fingers, and she was released after the abductors negotiated with Italian intelligence agents. One of those agents was killed when American troops fired on the car taking Ms. Sgrena to freedom.

Even after her release, Italian officials have refused to share information with the Iraqis, said Col. Jabbar Anwar, chief of the major crimes unit in the sector of Baghdad that includes Gazalea, the neighborhood where she was thought to be held.

And in the "no-shit-sherlock department":
The ring that committed the kidnapping was a profit-making organization that is likely to repeat the crime, he said.
And in the "When you hang around with and sympathize with terrorists" department:
Colonel Jabbar and a second officer in the crimes unit said the investigation suggested that the kidnappers were tipped off to Ms. Sgrena's itinerary on the day she was seized. On Feb. 4, Ms. Sgrena went to a district near the University of Baghdad to conduct interviews at a Sunni mosque where refugees from Falluja had been staying.....

Security guards at the mosque gate were acting suspiciously, Mr. Pagetti said. "They were asking us how many weapons we have," he said, "how many foreigners and if we had a second car."...

The Iraqi investigators say eight kidnappers brandishing pistols and Kalashnikovs, their faces hidden by head cloths, had arrived in a gray Opel and a black Kia. Witnesses heard Ms. Sgrena scream as the kidnapping unfolded.

Her frightened driver neglected to inform a nearby university guard. The driver was later detained by the police and is still being held, according to the second officer in the crimes unit.....

Burlesconi, you spineless fool:
Information from the Italians, Colonel Jabbar asserted, could have made the difference in cracking the case and bringing the kidnappers to justice. Instead, he said, his investigators saw the lines of communication shut down once the Italians began negotiating with the kidnappers.
Hat tip Phil.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 09:50 AM | Comments |