December 01, 2005
Peace Activists Kidnapped in Same Mosque as Giuliana Sgrena
When we first noticed the eary similarities between the Giuliana Sgrena kidnapping and the kidnapping of the four Western peace activists in Iraq, we had no idea just how uncanny the two situations would become. It turns out that American Thomas Fox, Canadians Harmeet Singh Sooden and James Loney, and British citizen Norman Kember were kidnapped in the exact same spot as Giuliana Sgrena.
Up to this point we have refrained from speculating that this hostage crisis could have been staged by the terror organization so that they could later release the hostages in a show of 'goodwill'. Our many readers and fellow bloggers have not been so restrained. However, in light of this new information...well, consider it a thought in the back of our collective heads which we just can't help thinking. In no way would this have to mean that the hostages were in on the hoax, only that the threat against their lives might not be real--especially if they were known by the terrorists to sympathize with their cause.
Why would terrorists do this? Well, look what happened during the Giuliana Sgrena crisis. Sgrena, who's sympathies were with the terrorists anyway, was more than happy to cry on cue and demand that Italy withdraw immediately from Iraq. The reaction from the Italian Left was overwhelming and the pressure mounted on the Burlesconi government to leave. Terrorists are not stupid. They choose tactics that they believe work. If it seemed to work once.....
If this is the case, then it is good news for the hostages as their eventual release is almost gauranteed. For the sake of the hostages, we hope this is so.
Guardian (hat tip Alicia):
Four Christian peace activists held hostage in Iraq were kidnapped at the same place where an Italian journalist was abducted, raising the possibility one group carried out both attacks, police said Thursday.Of course, the major hitch in this theory is that I first found the hostage video after a friend of mine pointed out that it was posted on a terrorist website.
The style of the abduction also was similar: The activists were seized Saturday in the vicinity of a mosque near Baghdad University. A car blocked their car, gunmen got out, threw the driver and translator out and drove away with the four captives, security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media....
While in captivity, Sgrena also appeared in a video. She begged for her life and warned foreigners to leave the country.
Iraqi police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said Thursday that the activists were kidnapped in the same place as Sgrena, whose release on March 4 touched off a tragic friendly fire incident that strained relations between Italy and the United States.