I was watching Fox News when they broke in and said two members of Fox News had been taken hostage. Since then "mum" seems to be the word as information is very scarce. Reports say that the two are reporter Steve Centanni
and cameraman Olaf Wiig
. No group has claimed credit for the kidnapping and there has been no further information. There are rumors that it could be a rogue element of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, but there has been no confirmation available.
Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two foreign journalists working for the Fox News Channel in Gaza on Monday, a witness and the U.S. television network said.
A Fox spokeswoman in New York named the two journalists as correspondent Steve Centanni, an American, and cameraman Olaf Wiig, from New Zealand.
A Fox news report said the network did not know who had seized them but that "negotiations were under way to secure their release".
The witness said two vehicles blocked the journalists' transmission truck in the center of Gaza City and a masked man put a gun to a bodyguard's head, forcing him to the ground.
The kidnappers then sped away with the two journalists.
FNC senior VP John Moody sent out an internal memo to Fox News personnel about the kidnapping: It was reported on Mediabistro
"The rumors are true: two of our employees have been abducted in Gaza. We will report this fact via our Israel correspondents. Do NOT do any other segments on it. Do not book guests on this topic. Do not comment officially and of course, not on the air, about it. DO pray for their release. I will keep you posted."
Steve Centanni is from the Bay Area and the San Jose Mercury News interviewed some of his family members, including his brothers Nicholas and Ken Centanni.
"We are a little bit nervous right now because we haven't heard anything one way or the other from the kidnappers," Nicholas Centanni said. "We talked with (the Fox News) negotiators last night, but they haven't heard from the kidnappers." ... "He thought this would be a safer place than going to Iraq,''
"This is Steve's passion. This is what he is all about,"' said Ken Centanni. "You can't keep him away from this stuff."
Nicholas Centanni said that Steve's love of travel and desire to tell human stories drives his passion for reporting overseas.
"He is probably hoping his work will do some good to stop this madness,"
I find it hard to believe that any hostage taking terrorist group could work in the Palestinian area without the other groups and the Palestinian Authority knowing about it. Usually groups celebrate these captures of high profile reporters, but this time it has been silent and that it very odd.
I will report more as it is discovered.
Ace of Spades
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