Italian Hostages Released!

Italian hostages Simona Pari and Simona Torretta have been released (original story on their abduction here). Two groups had claimed to have killed them last week. One claimed they were beheaded. I had speculated that they were both probably dead. I'm glad I was wrong. Just yesterday King Abdullah of Jordan said he knew they were alive. I look forward to hearing from them about their ordeal. The two were apparantly released for a $1 million dollar ransom. Reuters:

Two female Italian hostages seized in Baghdad three weeks ago were freed on Tuesday and are safe, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

The two aid workers, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, both aged 29, were taken at gun-point from their central Baghdad offices on Sept. 7, in a brazen kidnapping which caused jitters among the thousands of foreigners working in Iraq....

There had been little word on the fate of the Italians since their abduction, along with two Iraqi colleagues, although Al-Rai al-Aam, a leading Kuwait daily, reported the kidnappers had agreed to their release in exchange for a $1 million ransom.

Posted by: Rusty at 12:17 PM



Posted by: Brian B at September 28, 2004 02:05 PM

2 very pleased they are both okay

Posted by: Dee at September 28, 2004 02:30 PM

3 Very pleased. I hope we have the same outcome for Mr Bigley

Posted by: paul at September 28, 2004 03:50 PM

4 THIS IS GREAT NEWS. I only hope we hear the same for Bigley. I wonder why these assholes release some hostages some of the time, and slaughter the others? There is no rhyme or reason to their methods. I guess we should be thankful for the ones they DO release.

I haven't heard anything mentioned about Bigley, even when news of the others being released was mentioned. Wonder what's going on?

Haven't seen any services broadcast for Armstrong. Saw the one they did for poor Hensley. Was he married, Armstrong? Did he have children??

Later, all.

Posted by: Laura at September 28, 2004 05:24 PM

5 This is bad. It said they were released in exchange for $1 million. Isn't this considered "giving in" to terrorists? I am glad that they are safe, but this will more than likely fuel more kidnappings.

Posted by: Roger at September 28, 2004 05:35 PM

6 Wow, they did give them a mill? What's next now for any future hostages???? Too bad Armstrong or Hensley didn't even get to bargain for money.

It just puzzles me how they can let some go, and some not. Just crazy fuckers I guess.

Posted by: Laura at September 28, 2004 07:19 PM

7 Great news,,,,,,,,,,good for those poor girls, I think the fact they were not American helped them a lot....Eugene and Jack were Americans, I don't think any amount of money could save an American from those evil doers...

I read early that Eugene was from Michigan, and had spent years doing engineer work in war zones such as Bosnia, even that he was going to write a book about his travels, it also said he had a wife in Thailand, but I think they may have mistaken that fact for Mr. Bigley as he has a wife from Thailand also,,,,,there is alittle bit of info here....nothing about kids

I hope our boys keep pounding the heck out of that place.....God Bless America

Posted by: Army Wife at September 28, 2004 08:20 PM

8 Yes, King Abdullah, raised, educated and lived in the US, married a girl from CT, interferred and worked with these TERRORISTS to release these women for 1 Million Dollars. I used to like him - he even played a small part on a Star Trek serious once. I know he had to take over after his father died - his wife spends most of her time here, not there. King Abdullah also has allowed many members of Saddam's family haven in one of his "castles." We all know that Saddam's two daughters made it there with their children some time ago, but their mother is there and so are other members of Saddam's family. We don't hear much of that. I realize Jordan is right there BUT he had NO RIGHT whatsoever to get involved in dealing with these TERRORISTS even if it was to release two Italian women. No one wants to see anyone get killed but for 1 Million Dollars?? Do you have any idea what they can do with 1 Million dollars????? I'm sorry, but as much as I did not want to see these women killed, I do not think that we should be dealing with TERRORISTS no matter who it is. I know that we have shut off many sources of revenue for them but everything everyone is doing to stop them only makes it harder when someone like King Abdullah of Jordan steps in and pays money/ransom to get these women back alive. Sure it was nice to see them get off the plane in Rome, smiling, but was it really worth it??? How many times has ransom been paid already to them? TOO MANY TIMES. This only makes things worse and if they can kidnap people, hold them for ransom, get the money, it only causes them to continue doing this and we know they've been paid ransom before only to find dead and beheaded bodies later on. WE DO NOT DEAL WITH TERRORISTS and that should go for EVERY country, including Jordan. Is anyone trailing those he dealt with when it came to paying a ransom to release these women? Once they got the women to safety, why the hell didn't they arrest or blow up the damn couriers or whomever he negotiated with? I don't get it. Here's a man who was raised in the United States, educated in the United States, worked in the United States, married a woman from the United States and he can't stand up against TERRORISM??? This man is also giving haven to Saddam's family. What kind of ally is that? WE DO NOT NEGOTIATED WITH TERRORISTS!!!

Negotiating with the terrorists only makes it harder for us to fight them. King Abdullah should know that better than anyone. Wait till they attack his country and he'll learn the hard way. As bad as Saudi Arabia is, at least they are working day and night going after Al Qaida and other terrorists continually; so is Pakistan and the Jordan comes walking in and pays ransom money for the release of these two women who knew what they were getting into when they went to Iraq.

The people are Darfur are dying by the thousands daily due to ARAB MUSLIMS. The women are paying the price plus they are doing all the work trying to save as many children as they can. These people are also TERRORISTS but do you see the UN doing anything about it??? Genocide is happening and what is the UN doing about it. What is their LAW OF THE LAND?? They certainly are not enforcing it. We have to send soldiers over there just to protect the UN so they can set up elections and make sure elections do happen in Iraq in January, if the UN ever shows up.


I have nothing against these women but I have plenty against negotiations with terrorists and I have plenty against paying ransoms. Does anyone have any idea what these people can do and how far they can go with that kind of money??

I'm sorry but I truly believe this was a major mistake. Every country has to stand together to fight terrorism and that includes Jordan standing firm with the rest of the world.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 28, 2004 09:10 PM

9 Thanks for the link Army Wife! I agree with the above poster about not giving in to the terrorists. If it's money they wanted, they sure didn't specify that when negotiating with Armstrong and Hensley's lives. They insisted on us releasing those two women prisoners, that Dr. Germ bitch and the other one. If they wanted ransom money, I wonder if Bush would have spared some of that 87 billion he's spending on the war effort to fork over to those Ninja turtle assholes wound up killing Armstrong and Hensley?

So that means that they CAN be dealt with, on their terms of course. If there was no negotiating, everyone else would be dead by now as well.

I am reading more and more that these Americans that are working over there, realized the danger, but I guess they never thought it would be them getting caught. Every move they made was being watched...scarey thought. I would've bailed out of there at the first sign of the US invasion. Why didn't Bush warn them first, before he decided to strike, or did he?

Seems like such a senseless, avoidable crime...I am still very shocked and saddened by this whole thing. If this grosses anyone out, please do NOT read any further, but I wondered why Armstrong's video had so much noise in it, even after he stopped screaming, you could still hear something....the other beheading videos you heard a yell and then quiet...just wondering what that weird noise was during Armstrong's...God bless him and Hensley and all the others.

Posted by: Laura at September 28, 2004 09:34 PM

10 Laura, his windpipe was cut and they allowed his body to continue to try to breathe which it will do automatically because they had not cut through the spinal cord yet. Once they cut through the spinal cord, that stops because the signal from the spinal column to the brain has not been cut off. It only makes it look and sound even worse, seemingly to make them suffer more. Until the brain stem is cut from the body itself through the vertebrae in the neck, the body itself will continue to try to breathe because he is not dead. In the other cases, they cut the throats, turned them down until they bled out. This is also where you saw the video's stop. Once they bled out, they'd turn the video back on and finish the job. With Armstrong, as they have done with the first Nepalese, they only cut so far and let the person suffer and you could hear the windpipe trying to breathe in and out, then after they had gone through that and eventually bled out, then they finished cutting off his head. When they cut it off and continue going through until they've severed the spine, then it's over. The heart will continue to pump until the person has bled out and hopefully it doesn't last long once the neck has been severed.

As to the females who were released and others who were released yesterday, the word is they were held by Iraqi's, not Zarqawi or Zarqwiri, the so called #2 in command of Al Qaida, which is why it was easier to secure their release. Ken Bigley is being held by a group associated with Zarqawi, which is why he has not been released and may never be released.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 05:41 AM

11 Thursday, Sept 29th. British TV - ITV has just notified certain people and the brother of Ken Bigley that there is a possibility that the Iraqi kidnappers will release Ken Bigley = we shall see how this goes.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 05:55 AM

12 I honestly don't see how anything other than an abduction industry can come of ransoming these women. Wish it were otherwise. At this rate, however, the development of the tracking implants begins to actually look cheap. I've also had the thought that one reason the economy isn't doing particularly well, is that we aren't really mobilized for a war economy yet. That is, we have lots of people sitting around doing practically nothing who could be getting wealthy providing information resources, psy ops, and technological development and insights critical to the "War on Terror." There are a small number of people working on Homeland Security, but I'm not sure they have much faith in the long term career prospects of that work. This war is going to last long enough (at least two generations) that we probably need to think about institutionalizing the major strategies (such as the expansion of the democracy franchise).

I'd rather invest $50 million in securing those two women from abduction, or developing strategies and resources for locating them once they've been abducted, than a million ransoming them afterwards. And though I hate to say it, I'd rather kill the abductors than rescue the abductees. I know that seems heartless, but in the long run it'd mean fewer abductions.

Well, I'm happy they're safe anyway. Nothing I can do about the policy, so I won't fret over it too much.

Posted by: Demosophist at September 29, 2004 07:40 AM

13 FISTBROKENANGEL: Do not judge King Abdullah to quickly. Let's wait and see. The truth wil come out in a few days. I agree with you but let's not jump to condemn. Yes, he provided a safe haven for members of Saddam's family. Those members were helping us. it took a brave stand on King Abdullah's part since his son in laws were under a death threat. Remember what happen to them when they listened to Saddam's lies are returned to Iraq. Not disagreeing just suggesting we wait.

Posted by: greyrooster at September 29, 2004 07:46 AM

14 Many of the wives of these men, including Paul Johnson, had wives from Thailand.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 08:11 AM

15 As much as these people hate America they sure like american Dollars$$$$

Posted by: Todd at September 29, 2004 08:20 AM

16 The King Abdullah you're talking about greyrooster, is dead. The one I'm talking about is his son, mid 50's maybe, who took his place after his father died. Different person altogether. Daughters were there with their kids, now Mom and others. He had to shut up the daughter who spoke English trying to get lawyers and whatnot for her father, whom she never thought did anything wrong. That's when we learned that a full week before we went into Iraq, Saddam and his family as well as his army, all ran in different directions and we wondered why there was no real fighting when we entered Iraq all the way up to the Kurdish area near Turkey. I imagine his name is probably King Abdullah II now.


Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 08:21 AM

17 Cindy, right? firstbroken angel? Thank you so much for that explanation of the beheading video. People say I'm sick and it grosses them out but I have a curiousity about things like that, don't get me wrong, not that I ENJOY them, but interested as to how the body works.

That is terrible!!!!! So, Armstrong probably was still screaming with whatever he had left, or was that his windpipe making that noise as the air rushed in? Sounded to me like a horrendous death throttle, like a pig being slaughtered! I think he suffered more than the others. It's a wonder how the camera guy didn't drop the camera and get sick, or the others....bastards, just goes to show you how evil and warped these guys are. Anyone in thei right minds would have gotten sick.

Still cannot believe this shit happens

(shaking head)

Posted by: Laura at September 29, 2004 02:46 PM

18 They are dastardly, Laura, which is why it is so important to show what these people are capable of doing. They have no soul, no conscience, no gag reflex - what you heard was his windpipe; as long as his brainstem was still functioning, his body is automatically going to continue to try to breathe. I have the feeling, from my own experience with death, that he was aware of it longer than the others - That's why they are called every name in the book and righteously so. Every single one of these terrorists should be sought out and killed immediately.

The two Al Qaida men found guilty yesterday of bombing the USS Cole are already dead today; they didn't say how. I imagine it was in the form of the old version of beheading that they do in Saudi Arabia, too, for the last two that were recently beheaded there were guilty of drug trafficking.

The way these particular terrorists behead hostages and others, and yes, there are many others, like the Checken terrorists who are also Muslims, radical Islamists, is done in such a way as to cause the most terror to those who are watching, which is why they videotape everything they do - including IED's, suicide bombers, etc., for the maximum terror possible by doing it the way they do, and as you can tell, it does.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 06:47 PM

19 I too was very alarmed at the the way Armstrong suffered, They used a much smaller knife than they did on Hensley, and it was evident Hensley died sooner, It made me sick and I was in tears listening to Mr. Armstrong, and watching that beast cut all around his head as if to make Him suffer longer, do you think Armstrong may have made them mad or would not do a video to beg for them, with the nick berg and paul Johnson beheadings they used the same size knife as ARmstong....but they chanted all their stupid blah blah blah ,with armstrong they didn't because they new he would scream, they made sure he would the way they did it,,why was hensley different? I did notice the stopping the video in the others. The image of Mr. Armstrong will be with me a long time.I still catch myself in tears..God Bless MR Armstrong and MR. Hensley,,,,I do hope Mr. Bigley is released

I was confused about the thailand thing , I knew I had read it in more than one profile. Thanks..

Why do they not realize the only women we have in custody are two that deserve to be there....they act like we have hundreds....just shows how stupid they are, I do know the horrible pictures of what we did to the Iraqi prisoners or the idiot soilders that did it, brought a lot more of this crap stupid could they be to take those pictures.......
My husband is in Baghdad right now....he has been in the army for over 10 years, even he said he can't believe they did that, talk about evidence...and of course all our crap gets put on the news for days........the stuff they do they seem to hide the cruelty of it.....such as Armstrong,,forgotten like he was nothing already, I hope they bomb the hell out of that place, those people need to start standing up for themselves and help our boys out, I think we are all tired of playing babysitter.......

Posted by: madarmywife at September 29, 2004 07:51 PM

20 I totally agree. And I hope your husband stays safe.

Posted by: firstbrokenangel at September 29, 2004 11:10 PM


The release in Iraq of two Italian aid workers poses the question: why cannot the British Goverment do the same for Ken Bigley? The answer is, of course, that it could try to, by negotiating with his captors, Tawhid and Jihad, by paying a ransom or by persuading the Americans to release two Iraqi women who worked on Saddam's biological weapons programme. Mr Bigley might then be freed, and his family and friends, indeed the whole nation, would breathe a sigh of relief.
That relief, however, would come at a cost. It would lend legitimacy to a group that, under the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has filmed the beheading of several hostages and then distributed the videos. It would encourage Zarqawi, who is thought to have links with al-Qa'eda, in his campaign of kidnapping and suicide bombing in Iraq. All this would make life harder for an interim government trying to create the conditions for elections to a national assembly in January, and for the coalition forces that are assisting it.
The Italians, who are believed to have paid $1 million for the release of Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, say that their case is different. They argue that the two women were held by a criminal gang whose sole interest was money and that dealing with them is a lesser evil than compromising with a notorious assassin such as Zarqawi. The distinction is spurious, because it suggests that Tawhid and Jihad are somehow nobler than the gang who seized the two Simonas, whereas members of both are just criminals. Also, the non-political groups conduct a trade in hostages with the ideologically driven ones.
Italy rejoices in the return home of two hostages who had become symbols of widespread domestic opposition to the occupation of Iraq. Their release will boost the sagging popularity of the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, who is struggling to keep his coalition together and to revive the economy. But the obverse of his satisfaction is that hostage-taking has been shown to pay, which will make the lives of foreigners working in Iraq-and of Iraqis themselves-even riskier than they are already. The solidarity of the allied coalition, of which Italy is part, has been shaken by a deal that puts Mr Berlusconi at odds with the tougher line on kidnapping taken by Washington and London. The Western world has had decades of experience in handling hostage-taking in the Middle East. It is depressing still to have to remind its governments of the folly of yielding to criminal demands.

Posted by: paul at September 30, 2004 07:40 AM

Processing 0.01, elapsed 0.0054 seconds.
15 queries taking 0.0026 seconds, 29 records returned.
Page size 28 kb.
Powered by Minx 0.7 alpha.