Thursday, December 31, 2009

Petraeus: Iran Involved In Kidnapping of British Citizen

I noticed the story of a British IT consultant who had been kidnapped in Iraq while working there and was released yesterday and waited to see what sort of ransom had been paid to secure his release. Well now we know the answer.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office sources confirmed, however, that the transfer from US custody a few days ago of Qais al-Khazali, a cleric and commander of AAH, helped to pave the way for Mr Moore’s release. They also admitted that British diplomats had been pressing the US to hand over al-Khazali to the Iraqi administration.

The insurgent leader, who is suspected of helping to plan an attack that killed five US servicemen in Karbala in 2007, is expected to be released as part of reconciliation talks between the Iraqi Government and extremist groups.
Mr. Moore was kidnapped along with four British security personnel. Three of them have been killed, and the fourth is also suspected of being killed. This is the Muslim version of negotiating in "good faith."
When Laith al-Khazali, a brother of Qais al-Khazali, was released in June, the remains of Jason Creswell, 39, and Jason Swindlehurst, 38, were surrendered. Inquests were told that each died from a gunshot wound to the head. The body of Alec MacLachlan, 30, was handed over in September.

Probably the most shocking part of the saga however is the assertion by Gen Petreaus that Mr Moore was kidnapped by Iranian led and trained henchmen and may have indeed been held in Iran for some of his 31 months in captivity.
Frank Gardner, the BBC’s security correspondent, said that at a conference in Bahrain on December 13 he had asked General Petraeus whether Mr Moore was moved to Iran.

Mr Gardner told Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: “He didn’t hesitate. He said ‘I’m absolutely certain. I’m 90 per cent certain.’

“I said: ‘Is this a personal view or have you seen hard intelligence?’, and he thought for a minute and he said ’I am pretty sure I’ve seen hard intelligence on it’ ... that they were held in Iran for some of the period of their captivity.”
So we hand over a terrorist who was already suspected of having a hand in the killing of five U.S. service members, the captors killed three, and probably four of the other people they kidnapped and we get one British hostage back in exchange.

I tell you what, if we get slapped upside the head by that Iranian unclenched fist anymore, I just might begin to think that this whole make nice policy won't work.

Asked to comment on the general's assertion, Barry O responded with "Fore!"

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