Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Still no word on the fate of the CPT captives

The latest information, from today's Globe and Mail, may be summarized as follows:
  • the Swords of Righteousness Brigade has not communicated with anyone since the deadline passed;
  • they probably never expected that the USA would comply with their excessive demands;
  • there is some evidence that the Canadians are being treated differently than the other captives (an American and a Briton).
Here's an excerpt from the article:
Three days past the deadline — and still no word from the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, the Islamic militant group in Iraq that kidnapped two Canadian peace activists, as well as an American and a Briton.

That's no surprise, security experts say. Iraqi hostage-takers operate under different rules than those in Mexico, Colombia or Guyana, for example.

In Latin America, kidnappers' primary goal is to make money. They negotiate for a ransom, and in the best-case scenario, the hostages are released.

In Iraq, most hostage-takers issue such unreasonable demands that there is no expectation they will actually be fulfilled. Instead, they are after notoriety — and the long-term goal of driving out the U.S.-led coalition forces and the private contractors who are rebuilding the country. It's a whole new kidnapping paradigm.

"Kidnapping, globally, is a big business. But not in Iraq. Don't expect to hear from the kidnappers because this isn't about negotiating," said Alan Bell, president of Globe Risk Holdings, who just returned from Baghdad where he is helping foreign governments and private companies develop security strategies. "The kidnap game in Iraq is hard to predict. They have no morals or scruples and death is meaningless."

The Swords of Righteousness Brigade said it would kill [the hostages] unless all 16,000 Iraqi prisoners held in British and American military prisons are released. The first deadline was last Thursday — 12 days after the four were abducted at gunpoint from the streets of Baghdad. The deadline was then extended until Saturday. The captors then broke off all communication — another standard tactic, which puts families through agony and places the governments of the captives' countries in a precarious position.

Many of those held hostage in Iraq are never heard from again. Rifat Mohammed Rifat, an Iraqi-born Canadian, was kidnapped in April of 2004 and is still missing. …

However, the fact that Mr. Loney and Mr. Sooden are Canadian may help them — if the videos released by their captors are any indication.

… In a later video, Mr. Loney, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and worked with Toronto's homeless, and Mr. Sooden, formerly of Montreal and now studying in New Zealand, appear with their hands and feet untied and are at a food-laden table. In contrast, Mr. Kember, a retired physics professor, and Mr. Fox, a Quaker from Virginia, appear blindfolded, with their hands chained together, dressed in orange jumpsuits — which, in the past, has been a prelude to death.
It's possible that the Canadians are being treated better because Canada did not participate in the invasion of Iraq, but that's just speculation. It certainly does not guarantee that the Canadians' lives will be spared.

1 Comments:

At 5:09 PM, December 13, 2005, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

It is a terrible situation.

 

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