The Italian women taken hostage in Iraq on Sep. 7th may have been sold to al-Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. That is the latest news from Iraqi Foreign Minister Hamid al-Bayati.
San Diego Union-Tribune
"From the information at our disposal, they were kidnapped by criminal organisations that could have sold them to members of al-Zarqawi's group," al-Bayati said in a local television interview on Friday, according to state news agency ANSA.
The Iraqi official, visiting Italy, said he had received information that charity workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta had been transferred from western Baghdad to the restive town of Falluja.
When asked during an interview with Tg2 television station whether the women were being held by the same militants who threatened to kill one British and two American hostages in an Internet video, al-Bayati said: "Yes, it could be."
He added that kidnappers of the Italian aid workers had reportedly demanded the release of Muslim women held in Iraqi prisons, a similar demand put by al-Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad Group for the release of the Briton and Americans.
"But one must look into the case with a lot of attention before deciding who is responsible for this kidnapping," he said.
This does not bode well if true. It could spur other groups to kidnap simply to sell the hostages to al-Qaeda avoiding the hassle of having to negotiate with a government to get paid a ransom.
This does not have a good outlook for the Italian female hostages either as the Zaraqawi group has not shown any hint of ending their reign of beheading terror.
Our thoughts and hopes are with both Simona Pari and Simona Torretta.
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Two Italian Women And An Iraqi Woman And Man Taken Hostage In Iraq
September 10, 2004
Italian Aid Worker Hostage Update, Threats Made Against Denmark
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Italian Women Being Held Hostage In Iraq Sold To Zarqawi?
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Please Be Wrong. Rumor Of Italian Women Hostages Beheaded
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