May 24, 2006

Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq by Ansar al-Sunna

Mayada-salihi-hostage-iraq-embassy.jpgThe Army of Ansar al-Sunna has taken a female Iraqi translator hostage. In an announcement released on the internet, the group claimed that it had captured Mayada Salihi, a woman working as a translator for U.S. forces.

In the statement, the group claimed that Salihi was an "apostate" and among their most wanted targets. The Islamist group also claims that they had shot and wounded Ms. Salahi last year, but that she had escaped.

The group also posted several images to confirm that Mayada Salihi had been captured. Among them are several identification badges, including one for the U.S. embassy in Iraq. Two others identify Salihi as an employee of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

A series of other photos appear to show a woman posing with various Iraqi and U.S. forces, but her face is is blurred. The woman does appear to be Salahi.

The Army of Ansar al-Sunna is an active terrorist organization in Iraq. The group routinely murders hostages that it deems "apostates". Under Islamic law, the maximum penalty for apostasy is death. Thus, the Islamist groups justifies its murders as the carrying out of the death penalty under the guise of Islamic law.

The statement released by the group claims that two of its members were shopping in Baghdad when they spotted Salihi. They claim that Salihi was some sort of counter-intelligence officer that was hunting them down. Salihi initially fled the two "mujahidin" when they attacked her. They later found her in her car and kidnapped her, even though some Iraqi policemen saw what was happening and tried to stop them.

The group promised to upload a video to the internet in the near future. Unfortunately, this group has distributed dozens of videos of the murder and beheading of hostages in the past.

Mayada Salihi was featured in an article by Knight-Ridder in May of 2003. The author, S. Thorne Harper, describes Mayada Salihi as an outspoken advocate of women's rights in Iraq.:

She's definitely got the attitude – passionate and outspoken. In a country steeped in patriarchy, with little history of free speech, that's never been a problem for the 31-year-old, married mother of two.

"It is difficult here for some women," said Salihi, who prefers make-up, blouses and slacks to conservative Arab fashion. "For me, it's easy. I can say whatever I want."

Salihi first decided to learn English after listening to English language pop-music, including Wham, Paul Anka, and Barbara Streissand. She wanted to know what the lyrics said in their original language.

Salihi worked at a private school teaching English before the war until a U.S. bombe killed one of her neighbors:

Later, still seething, she approached the first U.S. soldier she saw and asked him a tough question.

"I said to him: `I need to know when you are leaving our country,' " she said, sipping on a Pepsi.

The soldier had no answer. Calming her anger, Salihi realized she had to use her English skills to work with the Americans.

She works long hours as a U.S. military translator. Her husband works as a driver and guide for journalists.

This brave woman, who was willing to stand up to the U.S. when she thought they were in the wrong, had been targetted by the so-called 'resistance' in the past:
Four days ago, she discovered four unexploded U.S. cluster bombs in her front yard. She said Iraqis who believe she is working with the U.S. government to arrest members of the former regime placed them there.

"I can't even let my children outside to play anymore," she said. "My house is like a prison."

Ah, yes, the brave mujahidin terrorizing women and children.

More from Salihi:

She finds a paradox in postwar Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein, she said, there was no freedom of speech but there was adequate security. Under U.S. rule, Iraqis are free to express themselves but no one feels safe.

Salihi warned that Iraqis are beginning to consider this paradox. Unless the U.S. turns things around quickly, she said they might start longing for the old ways.

"There is an old Arab saying, `If you want to know the value of something – like a leader, try the value of another one for a while," she said.

This is the woman the Army of Ansar al-Sunna terrorists accuse of being a "captain" in the Iraqi security forces. This is the woman that they will murder in the name of "legitimate resistance".

We pray that U.S. forces will swiftly find the terrorists who have captured Mayada Salihi and free her before it is too late.

Mayada-salihi-hostage-iraq-defence.jpg

The SITE Institute's story is here.

Thanks to Baf Baf and Tribeca for legwork on this story.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:32 PM | Comments |