Reuters has just released some breaking news from Al Rai TV in Kuwait in the last few minutes. According to Al Rai, the kidnappers say they will carry out a threat to kill Jill unless their demands are met by a Feb. 26 deadline. The station is citing sources that are "close to her captors."
Kidnappers holding U.S. journalist Jill Carroll say they will carry out a threat to kill her unless their demands are met by a Feb. 26 deadline, Kuwait’s Al Rai TV said on Friday, citing sources close to her captors. In response to a question from Reuters, Al Rai chairman Jassem Boodai declined to specify the kidnappers’ demands … "The demands are specific. We have passed them on to the authorities," Boodai told Reuters.
Previously Jill said the group was demanding the release of all female detainees held in Iraq and then five were released, but US and Iraqi officials denied any quid pro quo. 450 detainees were released over the last 48 hours in Iraq, but none were women. It is unclear from this statement if there are additional demands and it’s unclear what was in the letter Jill mentioned she was providing in her 9 Feb. video statement. As of today, 10 February 2006, Jill has been held captive 35 days!
UPDATE: Reuters has provided an additional piece of information from Al Rai in an updated version of that same report that indicates that Jill is being kept in the capital with other women:
The private television station said sources reported Carroll was being held in a house in Baghdad along with other women. In the video aired on Thursday by Al Rai, Carroll, 28, was shown wearing a headscarf and apparently composed and in good health — unlike a previous video in which she was distraught.
This was detailed a bit further in a quote from the Associated Press: "People close to the kidnappers told the private TV channel earlier Friday that Carroll is "in a safe house owned by one of the kidnappers in downtown Baghdad with a group of women," Jassem Boudai told The Associated Press."
UPDATE 2: This Associated Press report is quite insightful regarding the media movement that’s occurred with this latest tape. It also adds some additional information and provides one of the best analysis articles about the use of media in this whole terrible mess, confirming the fact that Aljazeera exercised considerable editorial control over release of the tapes so as not to provide an open mic to whomsoever perpetrates these actions. In other words, as mentioned before, there was audio on the tapes preceeding this one, but they chose not to air it.
But, as the story highlights, smaller outfits, like Al Rai, have an interest in putting these things out there to make a name for themselves, acting as a conduit for ner-do-wells. Also of note: the off-the-record Jazeera employee who confirmed that there was mention made of "letters" being sent in the other two videos. Here’s the story in full:
Carroll’s Iraqi kidnappers change channels in bid for more prominence
By Paul Garwood
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Kidnappers of journalist Jill Carroll have chosen a new TV station to broadcast their videotapes in a bid to promote their demands more effectively and increase pressure on the U.S. government, security experts said Friday. The third and latest tape, which appeared on a Kuwaiti station late Thursday, also gave new hope that the 28-year-old freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor is alive. The American was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad by gunmen who shot and killed her translator. The first two videotapes of Carroll in captivity were aired last month on Al-Jazeera television, but the station did not carry her voice.
The private Kuwaiti station Al-Rai broadcast the new 22-second video in its entirety and with Carroll’s voice. She spoke of having sent two letters but did not say to whom. "I am with the mujahedeen," she said. "I sent you a letter written by my hand, but you wanted more evidence, so we are sending you this letter now to prove I am with the mujahedeen."
An Al-Jazeera employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to make statements for the station, confirmed the first two videos referred to a letter. The station did not mention any letters when it aired the videotapes. It did report that the kidnappers were demanding the release of women held prisoner in Iraq.
Al-Rai owner Jassem Boudai said his station has given U.S.authorities Carroll’s letter, which he only described as "sensitive." The station didn’t reveal its contents, he said, out of concern for the reporter. Some terror analysts said Carroll’s kidnappers used the relatively unknown station to get more of its message across and to avoid being tainted by Al-Jazeera’s reputation as being biased toward insurgents.
Al-Jazeera came under sharp criticism for airing videos showing al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, with hostages they soon beheaded. The station cut the tape when masked gunmen drew knives and moved toward their doomed victims. Since then, Al-Jazeera has sought to air just enough material for news value without appearing to be a conduit for gruesome propaganda. Station policy is not to carry the voices of hostages.
"There are a lot of question marks for insurgents at Al-Jazeera because they don’t air all their tapes in entirety, or not immediately or sometimes not at all," said Mustafa al-Ani, director of terrorism studies at Gulf Research Center in the United Arab Emirates." But these small stations will jump at such opportunities because they aren’t famous," he said. "Very few people had heard of Al-Rai before that tape, but now people all over the United States know it."
Another senior Al-Jazeera editor concurred, saying Carroll’s kidnappers had found it impossible to get their demands aired fully because of his station’s strict content policies. He said the kidnappers wanted to make their demands clear and used Al-Rai to do so. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to make statements for Al-Jazeera.
A top U.S. media analyst said being able to get their messages out in their entirety will have an impact on the American public, and could put pressure on officials to question the Bush administration’s approach to the war in Iraq. "These videos will prompt us to feel fear, hope, heightened anger or frustration about a matter as viewers will have little control over, and this could lead us to putting more pressure on our public officials," said Bob Steele of the Florida-based Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
In fact, it is not quiet, but in fact too quiet, so to let things die down, and I refuse to let this cool off according to her or whoever’s advise, shifting our attention onto something else, etc. We need to remain active, and keep questioning until we get to the bottom of this. Her “cooking show” at Iraq didn’t look right to me, then when she was kidnapped, she was supposed to die when the deadline was met, but she didn’t, now she gave two statements with two extremely different directions, she has a lot of explaining to do.
She has been quiet for how many days now? This goes with her family and friends also. Why?
First, she said the worst thing she could ever have said upon release (true or not), she was then advised to correct her prior statement, and how she have been told to shut the hell up, probably accompanied with a death threat. All these is not new and have been done before by government and gangster (legal / illegal) all over the world, with that saying of “hoping that nothing bad might happen to your family”. I can’t wait until CIA knock on her door and pay everyone there multiple visits. I can tell you that her phone is definitely tapped at the moment.
Jill Carroll is the kind of reporter who follows her beliefs and passion hence naive and bias, not necessary dead on with the truth. She is the kind who tells you what she wants you to hear, and most certainly she does not have the entire big picture in her head. When she was first released, she said what was on her naive mind, then she realised that she was endangering everyone close to her at home, hence the very quite her at the moment, and I certainly do not believe she could snap out of her brain washed mind in a day if that was the case, simply because that was not the case, and she does not need this huge long rest before speak to the public again as she certainly does not have any mental difficulty to do so. I am not certain whether this was all a hoax, but I am certain that it is in some way some kind of a hoax to some extend.
she’s finally free . . Thank god.. Now hopefully this war will be ending soon!
I really do believe this was all an elaborate Hoax, and that Miss Carroll was in on it from the start. I do not believe her “Captors” ever had any intention of killing or harming her. And Yes, I do agree that the Truth will eventually come out, and that Miss Carroll will be Totally Discredited.
The last I heard was that Jill is alive and is being moved around by her captors. I question whether or not she is even still in Iraq. Who knows? I just hope that she truly is alive and that she is released soon. Not knowing is what is really driving everyone nuts (at least it’s driving me crazy)…and that’s what the kidnappers want.
What’s going on with Jill I havn’t heard anything about her. . ?
For those of you who think she is “in on it” because of the way she appeared in the videos, consider this from former hostage Roy Hallum:
“In my case, and it sounds like Jill’s case, they hand you a script to read and tell you to memorize it.”
If someone points a gun at you and says “cry for the camera,” you do it. If someone threatens to kill you and says “say the lines calmly and tell them you’re fine,” you do it. Period.
Is she in on it? It’s possible, but very unlikely. Her translator’s death and the obvious agony of her family and friends say “no.”
Lighten up, pray, and hope for the best.
All of this shit is crazzy and hopefully jill won’t get hurt..because that’s awful if she is kidnapped think about it..those kidnappers are litteritly out of there mind and I don’t know her but if I was in her family I would be so upset we should just pray for her and her family and everyone else that’s in war…
I suggest all take a look at Jill Carroll’s
record when she was a student at UMass Amherst.
Sure lying there doesn’t mean lying now, but…
Jill Carroll hoax:
Your points are strong and the views to me are correct. Any persons that would enter a Muslim holy war with the presence of the American military in full action are complete idiots. These Middle Eastern people could care less of “one person” trying to help out. This is a lost cause, plain and simple.
The fact is that if this is truly a murder waiting to happen, and the US government’s unwillingness to intervene, will be a crime to the entire administration and to all freedom loving individuals.
I still will stand up for the overthrow of the Muslim Religion and the elimination of this breed. This is an impure and despicable culture that needs to parish from the world for the better of humanity.