CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — Al-Jazeera has aired a tape of a hostage American reporter along with a statement saying the U.S. has three days to free female prisoners in Iraq or she will be killed. Al-Jazeera would not tell The Associated Press how it received the tape, but issued its own statement calling for Carroll’s release.
The tape showed the 28-year-old reporter sitting in front of a white background and speaking, but her voice could not be heard.
I haven’t seen it yet. I’m waiting for Aljazeera’s next news bulletin! I can’t write more! Every single bone in my body is shaking!
UPDATE: More of the same via MSNBC, where they too indicated the tape showed Jill and said there was no audio from the tape when aired. The story will likely be updated via this link. CNN has added some new information and published a statement to the kidnappers from Jill’s parents, Jim and Mary Beth, and her twin sister, Katie:
Jill is an innocent journalist, and we respectfully ask that you please show her mercy and allow her to return home to her mother, sister and family.
Jill is a kind person whose love for Iraq and the Iraqi people are evident in her articles. She has been welcomed into the homes of many Iraqis and shown every courtesy.
From that experience, she understands the hardships and suffering that the Iraqi people face every day. Jill is a friend and sister to many Iraqis, and has been dedicated to bringing the truth of the Iraq war to the world.
We appeal for the speedy and safe return of our beloved daughter and sister.
UPDATE 2: I just finished watching the heart-wrenching video on Aljazeera. My dear Jill looked extremely tired but somehow better than I expected. She looked like she hadn’t been sleeping. I’m going crazy here but still praying and hoping for her quick release. I’m hoping that the kidnappers still have some mercy left in them so they can release this innocent young woman, who is but a pawn in the current political mayhem.
Following the airing of the tape, Aljazeera’s anchor read a statement from Aljazeera that appealed for Jill’s release. I hope the kidnappers were watching. In addition, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has appealed for Jill’s release:
Journalists must be free to report on conflicts worldwide without fear of being targeted by combatants. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Jill Carroll and for the release of all hostages held in Iraq. No cause can be served by harming those who only seek to convey the human suffering caused by war.
CAIR’s statement will be translated into Arabic and distributed to Middle Eastern media outlets. I hope other Muslim organizations follow suit with efforts to appeal to the kidnappers that snatched an innocent in war-torn, a woman there to report the truth and nothing but the truth.
Meanwhile, the US State Department responded to the videotape with a statement: "We continue to make every effort we can, working with Iraqis and others, to see Miss Carroll is returned safe and sound," spokesman Sean McCormack said.
UPDATE 3: MSNBC’s translator Alfred Arian said the tape showed the logo of a group calling itself the Revenge Brigade. The same group claimed responsibility for a Jan. 4 kidnapping of the Iraqi interior minister’s sister, asking for the release of female prisoners at that time as well, according to an NBC News report Tuesday.
UPDATE 4: According to Aljazeera’s English website, the kidnappers have identified themselves as members of a previously unknown armed group calling itself the "Brigades of Vengeance."