Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘hostage’

Taliban Video Shows Kidnapped U.S.-Canadian Family


waving flagAuthored by John Hayward / 20 Dec 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/20/taliban-video-shows-kidnapped-u-s-canadian-family/

“We understand both sides hate us and are content to leave us and our two surviving children in these problems,” Coleman says in the video, as reported by Reuters. “But we can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy.”
“My children have seen their mother defiled,” she added ominously, as the children sat in Boyle’s lap. Also ominous: she referred to the boys as her “surviving children.”

“They want money, power, friends. You must give them these things before progress can be made,” she said of her captors in the Haqqani Network, a notorious hostage-taking criminal gang allied with the Taliban. Reuters explains that the “friends” she referred to are three senior Haqqani members held by the Afghan government.

The UK Daily Mail adds that Boyle said his captors are “frightened by the idea of further execution” of Taliban and Haqqani prisoners by the government in Kabul.

“Because of their fear they are willing to kill us, willing to kill women, to kill children, to kill whomever, in order to get these policies reversed or take revenge,” Boyle said in the video.

Coleman then buttressed her husband’s remarks by pleading, “I ask if my government can do anything to change the policies of the Afghan government to stop their policy of executing men before these men start executing their prisoners.”

At another point in the video, she more explicitly states that the Haqqanis will “retaliate against our family,” “do us harm,” and “punish us” if their demands are not met.

“We have waited since 2012 for somebody to understand our problems. We can only ask and pray that somebody will recognize the atrocities these men carry out against us as so-called retaliation in their ingratitude and hypocrisy,” Coleman said, evidently reading from a script, as the UK Guardian notes.

bergdahl

Image added by WhatDidYouSay.org

The New York Times quotes Coleman appealing directly to President Obama for help before he leaves office: “Please don’t become the next Jimmy Carter. Just give the offenders something so they and you can save face, so we can leave the region permanently.”

As the Daily Mail notes, Coleman is wearing a burka in the video, with the veil pulled back to expose her face. Boyle is described as “pale and tired.” Coleman was forced to wear a burka in previous hostage videos, while her mother also donned a Muslim headscarf in a video appeal for her daughter’s release sent by the family to Taliban leaders last year.

Taliban officials confirmed the authenticity of the video, which they said was recorded several months ago. (Coleman specifically states it is December 3rd at the beginning of the tape, but that might not be accurate.) It was delivered to U.S. and Canadian authorities, as well as uploaded to YouTube for public display on Monday night after one of the Haqqani prisoners was sentenced to death.

According to the Daily Mail, the Canadian government almost had a deal for Boyle’s release in place, but he refused to leave Coleman and the children. The New York Times speculates efforts to secure the couple’s release were harmed by the U.S. drone-strike killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour in May.

“Certainly when Americans are taken captive, this becomes an immediate priority for us. We are paying extraordinarily close attention to that. We always do. I won’t get into too many details with that. But I am satisfied that we are doing everything we can at this juncture to understand who took them and try to bring them back,” said U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, head of Central Command, at a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday.

“We are deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their young children and call for their unconditional release,” said Canadian Department of Global Affairs spokesman Michael O’Shaughnessy.

The Guardian notes that the U.S. State Department “did not respond to a request for comment.”Why

As for why a man and his pregnant wife would be backpacking through Afghanistan in 2012, the Daily Mail quotes some relatives describing them as “well-intentioned but naive adventure seekers.” They had already trekked through Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan before arriving in Afghanistan.culture of deceit and lies

White House unveils hostage policy review, takes heat for opening door to terror ransoms


waving flagPublished by FoxNews.com June 24, 2015

obama

Watch the latest video at <a href=”http://video.foxnews.com”>video.foxnews.com</a>

The Obama administration was accused Wednesday of giving terrorists an incentive to kidnap as it unveiled a hostage policy overhaul allowing families of U.S. hostages to pay ransom — and allowing the U.S. government to help families communicate with captors. “This doesn’t fix anything,” Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a leading critic of the administration’s hostage policy, told Fox News. “The money that we’re going to be paying ISIS is going to be used to buy arms and to buy equipment to fight Americans and to fight the Iraqis.” 

But the White House said the changes are being unveiled with the families and victims in mind. “We’re not going to abandon you. We’re going to stand by you,” Obama said of hostages’ families, speaking at the White House on Wednesday. The policy review was formally released shortly before noon, and includes a host of changes beyond the clarifications on ransom discussions — notably, the creation of a new bureaucratic structure for handling hostage cases.  The White House plans to establish a Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell responsible for coordinating the recovery of hostages; a Hostage Response Group responsible for coordinating hostage policies; and the position of “special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.” Obama said this is being done to sync up various efforts, citing past coordination problems. Picture3 crazy talk

This framework is also being met with mixed reviews, but much of the attention is on the newly clarified policies for communicating with terrorists. The White House sought the policy review last fall after the deaths of Americans held hostage by Islamic State militants. The families of some of those killed complained about their dealings with the administration, saying they were threatened with criminal prosecution if they pursued paying ransom in exchange for their loved ones’ release. 

In response, the administration made clear Wednesday that officials will no longer threaten hostages’ families with prosecution for dealing with and paying ransoms to terrorist captors.  The Justice Department said in a written statement: “The department does not intend to add to families’ pain in such cases by suggesting that they could face criminal prosecution.” There is not expected to be any formal change to the law. However, the administration made clear that the Justice Department has never prosecuted anyone for paying ransom and that will continue to be the case. The White House said in a statement that the government still takes a “no concessions” approach, and it continues to be U.S. policy to “deny hostage-takers the benefits of ransom.” But the same statement says this policy does not “preclude engaging in communications with hostage-takers.” muslim-obama

The White House made clear the U.S. government may, then, help facilitate communications with terrorists on behalf of the families. The directive said the U.S. “may assist private efforts” to communicate with hostage-takers, and may even “itself communicate with hostage-takers” to try to rescue hostages. White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco said the U.S. government, though, would not specifically facilitate ransom payments. 

The announcements still amount to a shift in the U.S. approach to hostages. It was considered a major break from past practice last year when the Obama administration traded five Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. The latest policy changes could open the door to more deals, even if they are only struck with families of hostages. 

Critics worry they could also encourage more kidnappings, while effectively aiding the enemy. AMEN

“The concern that I have is that by lifting that long-held principle [of not paying ransoms], you could be endangering more Americans here and overseas,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “You’re going to have to have the government now facilitating payments from the families here to the terrorists there while at the same time we have troops on the ground … fighting the same people that we’re paying money to,” Hunter said Wednesday. “You’re worth more captured now than you would be otherwise.” Former House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers also voiced concern on a local talk radio station Tuesday evening that this would encourage more hostage-taking and ransom demands. 

Obama, though, stressed Wednesday that the U.S. government itself would not be paying ransoms. 

Four Americans have been killed by the Islamic State since last summer: journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller. After the release of gruesome videos showing the beheadings of some hostages, Obama approved an airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria. 

The families’ anguish has been deepened by the fact that European governments routinely pay ransom for hostages and win their release. The U.S. says its prohibitions against the government and private individuals making any concessions to terrorist demands are aimed both at preventing more kidnappings and blocking more income for terror groups. However, the Obama administration did negotiate with the Taliban last year to win the release of Bergdahl. White House officials say those negotiations were permissible because Obama sees a special responsibility to leave no American service member behind on the battlefield. Bull

Elaine Weinstein, whose husband Warren Weinstein was accidentally killed by a U.S. drone strike in April while being held hostage by Al Qaeda, argued Tuesday against the government making such distinctions between U.S. citizens. “The people who take American citizens working abroad as hostages do not discriminate based on their job or employer, and neither should our government,” Weinstein said in a statement. 

The White House invited the families of 82 Americans held hostage since 2001 to participate in the review, and 24 agreed to do so. The National Counterterrorism Center, which oversaw the review, also consulted with hostage experts from the U.S. and other countries. As part of the review’s findings, the White House announced the creation of a hostage recovery “fusion cell” that will coordinate the multiple government agencies involved in such issues. The new office aims to address family frustrations about getting contradictory information from different agencies by creating a single point of contact. 

The administration is not acquiescing to the requests of some families to house the fusion cell in the White House’s National Security Council. Instead, the office will be at the FBI, and the director will be affiliated with the FBI. The cell will include representatives from the State Department, Treasury Department, CIA and other key agencies.  

Obama also announced the creation of a State Department special envoy post that will head the administration’s dealings with foreign governments on hostage matters. 

Fox News’ James Rosen and Doug McKelway and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

freedom combo 2

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: