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NEWS: British Journalist Kidnapped in Basra; Released Unharmed

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posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 04:26 AM
Iraqi militants stormed into a hotel and demanded to see the guest book. A hotel employee reported that one of them said, 'how dare you have foreigners in your hotel'. They then ran upstairs and shots were heard. They were seen dragging a British journalist, who was bleeding, downstairs. The militants have threatened to kill him unless the Americans pull out of Najaf within 24 hours.
Mr. Brandon was released unharmed on Friday.
James Brandon, 23, a freelance reporter for the Sunday Telegraph, was kidnapped after 30 masked gunman stormed into his hotel at 2300 (1900GMT) on Thursday.

Hours later a video tape was released showing a hooded militant standing next to a barechested Mr Brandon, threatening to kill him.

Iraqi militants have been waging a kidnapping campaign against westerners.

"We demand the American forces withdraw from Najaf within 24 hours or we will kill this British hostage," the militant is reportedly heard saying.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

It seems to be another kidnapping but this time they aren't even targeting foreign civilians helping the coalition. They are targeting journalists reporting on the sitution in Iraq. If militants carry on kidnapping people who don't even help the coalition, it seems as though there may be less journalists who want to go out to Iraq.

Lets hope that James isn't another person added to the list of hostages that have already been executed.

[edit on 8-14-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 05:21 AM
A spokesman for Iraq's radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Friday for the release of James Brandon

"We appeal to the captors of the British hostage to free him," the spokesman told Reuters.


posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 05:44 AM

A video grab taken from television footage released on August 13, 2004, shows British journalist James Brandon (L) standing next to a hooded militant in Iraq.
The material was shot by a freelance cameraman working for Reuters who was instructed by the kidnappers to take the video


posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 06:41 AM
Maybe this wasn't orchestrated by Moqtada al Sadr's forces since he has reportedly called for James Brandon's release but then again, who can tell that isn't a ploy to make al-Sadr look less 'evil' by having him say don't kill innocent people even if they are foreign.

Who can tell?

What a messed up world we live in.

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 08:18 AM
According to BBC/Reuters, Mr Brandon may soon by released after mediation by Moqtada Sadr.

Mr Brandon's captors now say his release is "imminent", according to the Reuters news agency. The announcement follows mediation from radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, unconfirmed reports say.

It appears that Al Sadr is looking for a peaceful solution to the Najaf situation, and this move is to help defuse the situation. It doesn't appear at this stage there have been any conditions attached to the release.

[edit on 13/8/04 by muppet]

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 08:38 AM

There doesn't appear to be much detailed information but the situation looks a lot better than it did a few hours ago.

Let's hope for the best.

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 09:53 AM
Just in on BBC News alerts: UK journalist "freed" check bbc website for more...

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 09:53 AM
Militants in the southern Iraqi city of Basra released Brandon. He was brought to al-Sadr's local office and held an impromptu news conference there

"I'm grateful to the Mehdi Army and I'm in good health now," Brandon, who had a black eye, told reporters shortly after his release.

He said he was treated roughly at first, but then the mood of his captors softened.


[edit on 13-8-2004 by Riwka]

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 01:52 PM
Oz site confirmation,
Kidnapped British journalist released in Iraq

A kidnapped British journalist was released in Iraq less than 24 hours after he was abducted at gunpoint from a hotel, after aides of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr apparently came to his rescue.

Freelance Sunday Telegraph reporter James Brandon, 23, was paraded at Sadr's offices in the southern city of Basra, where representatives of the militia leader said he had been freed, before they handed him over to Iraqi police.

Good news


posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 03:26 PM
I'm glad it has ended happily. This is great news which is a change from what normally happens to hostages in Iraq.

Nice quotes

Al-Sadr's spokesman

"We apologise for what happened to you. This is not our tradition, not our rules. It is not the tradition of Islam."

James Brandon

Sporting a black eye, he said: "Initially I was treated roughly, but once they knew I was a journalist I was treated very well and I want to say thank you to the people who kidnapped me."

BBC News : Kidnapped UK journalist released

His life has been saved thanks to Mr Sadr.

[edit on 13/8/04 by Hyperen]

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 05:45 PM
I think his life was spared due to the fact that he was reporting the war, rather than helping the coalition. He wasnt seen as an enemy of the militia.

posted on Aug, 13 2004 @ 10:23 PM
I heard about this guy being taken hostage this morning I knew stright away they wouldn't kill him. Due to the fact he's a reporter and not fighting in the war he did look a bit roughed up and things but I'm glad he's safe and well now.


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