09 May 2007

Johnston kidnappers want Abu Qatada released

Jaysh al-Islam (The Army of Islam), a Palestinian militant group, has taken responsibility for kidnapping the BBC's Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston. In exchange for the release of Johnston, who was kidnapped on 12 March, Jaysh al-Islam is demanding the release of all Muslims held in British jails, and, in particular, Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian imam who is currently in detention under suspicion of supportin Al-Qaeda (BBC).

Since Johnston was kidnapped almost two months ago, and it has taken Jaysh al-Islam this long to make its demands public, the question that begs itself is whether Johnston was kidnapped by people who had no idea why they were taking him prisoner. Perhaps, during the preceding almost two months of silence, there was a quiet struggle underway between militants who wanted to release Johnston, and those who wanted to keep him prisoner as a bargaining chip.

I should add that all mainstream Palestinian groups, including the governing party, Hamas (despite its terrorist roots) have strongly condemned Johnston's kidnapping, and the government has pledged on several occasions to work for his release.

No comments:

Something Even More Magical

In other news...