An Iraqi official said Tuesday that a group calling itself the "Islamic Army" is actually holding Jill. The name of this group differs from the name seen in previous tapes released by the kidnappers. In those tapes the kidnappers were identified as the "Revenge Brigades." This might mean that Jill was moved/sold by one group to another or it might not. Sigh! The good news, though, is that it was this same Islamic Army group that freed two French journalists in 2004 after holding them captive for four months. Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr also suggested that the same group kidnapped his sister, who was seized about four days before Jill but then freed a few weeks later. Read the the full story here. Meanwhile, The Jordan Times, where Jill worked for a year, ran yet another moving editorial on Jill’s ordeal, Here is an excerpt:
If our immediate thoughts go to Jill — we know you are and will continue to be strong — and her family, because we were lucky to have her with us from one year and could experience firsthand her professionalism, dedication, brightness, generosity and amazingly good nature, we are certainly not forgetting other colleagues suffering in Iraq.
Following the Iraqi announcement that Jill was alive, Christian Science Monitor editor Richard Bergenheim released a statement:
The Carroll family and The Christian Science Monitor continue to follow developments in Iraq very carefully. We appreciate the wide-ranging efforts being made by Iraqi and US officials to secure Jill’s release. We hope that today’s encouraging statements about Jill’s condition and prospects for safe return are proved correct.
I think we need to stay balanced about this. Yes, the Islamic Army in Iraq did release two French journalists, but there was much speculation that a ransom was paid. The U.S. government won’t pay a ransom.
Also, this is the same group that has murdered other hostages, including Italian report Enzo Baldoni. They also claim to have killed missing American contractor Ron Shultz.
Just pray not only for Jill, but the other hostages as well. There is hope, but there is also danger.