Fox News Reporter Steve Centanni and Cameraman Olaf Wiig were released by their terrorist captors on Sunday bringing an end to their two week captivity. We here at The Realm are thrilled at this outcome.
However, I do have some bad news.
First, the two were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint and videos were made of them doing so. Now this is total BS of course and I don't consider them any more Muslim than they already were. These types of tactics are meaningless. However Darleen of Darleen's Place points out something I didn't consider.
Second, is the more disturbing news floating around that the terrorist group was paid a six figure ransom for the hostages. If this proves true the whole of the journalist community in the Gaza area have just become greater targets. Even more disturbing is that countless numbers of people will be killed using this money.
Paying ransom for hostages is never a good thing.
Steve Centanni, 60, and Olaf Wiig, 36, left Gaza and have since crossed into Israel after their release. The men left Gaza through the Erez border crossing.
The freeing of Centanni, a correspondent, and Wiig, a cameraman, ends the longest-running drama involving foreign hostages in Gaza.
The two journalists were dropped off at Gaza City's Beach Hotel by Palestinian security officials and appeared to be in good health. A tearful Centanni embraced a Palestinian journalist briefly as he entered, then rushed upstairs as Wiig followed.
Centanni, in a phone interview shortly after his release, said "I'm fine. I'm just so happy to be free."
Now the disturbing rumors of ransom.
Various Palestinian middlemen were used by British agents at the request of the US to bring the Fox journalists home. They worked out a convoluted deal which entailed their public conversion to Islam, an anti-American harangue on air and a six-figure cash ransom paid under the table to Dughmush to fund his terrorist militia’s operations in Gaza. While the first two parts of the ransom were publicly aired, the third part will no doubt be vehemently denied. But the face remains that a terrorist chief who freelances for at least three fundamentalist terrorist organizations walks free with a strong incentive to develop his profitable hostage-taking business.
The reported terrorist -- according to DEBKA -- is a freelancer named Zakaria Dughmush, a Palestinian warlord who currently leads a faction of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC).
HotAir has some video and more information.
The Jawa Report
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Mary Katherine Ham