Italian Woman Taken Hostage in Iraq (Updated)

The hostage is named Giuliana Sgrena and works for Rome daily Il Manifesto. She was abducted as she conducted interviews near Baghdad University.

Update II: Terrorists claim abduction. Reuters:

A little-known Iraqi group said on Friday it had taken an Italian journalist hostage and set a 72 hour deadline for Italy to remove its troops, but did not make a specific threat to kill her, a Web statement said.
"We in the land of Islam, Iraq, give the Italian government 72 hours to get out of Iraq, otherwise the squadrons will have something else to say in the coming days," said a statement from the Islamic Jihad Organisation titled "about the imprisoning of the Italian journalist".

It was not possible to verify the statement, which first appeared on a site not used by the main Iraqi insurgent groups.

A group using the same name said in September it had killed two abducted Italian aid workers who were subsequently released by another group.


Gunmen have kidnapped an Italian journalist in Baghdad, the latest in a series of brazen abductions but the first since Iraq's election...

Gunmen pulled up alongside her vehicle, forced her driver and an Iraqi journalist with her out of the vehicle at gunpoint and then drove off with Sgrena, the sources said.

Original Story---Scotsman:
Gunmen seized an Italian woman journalist in Baghdad today in a hail of gunfire after she had been interviewing people who fled the US assault on the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Fallujah....

Italian radio journalist Barbara Schiavulli said Sgrena called her on her mobile phone while the assault was underway.

“I heard shots and people running but I did not hear her speak,” Schiavulli said. “I only heard pistol shots ... I heard shots and began to shout Giuliana, Giuliana, but she did not reply.”

Iraqi police said Sgrena was accompanied by two Iraqi reporters and an Iraqi driver when several armed men stopped their vehicle. The gunmen released the Iraqis and took Sgrena in her own car.

UPDATE I: The Religion of Irony never ceases to amaze. Here is a translation of a report by Giuliana Sgrena in the German liberal weekly Die Zeit. It seems the terrorists have taken another anti-war reporter hostage. In it, she refers to the accidental bombing of a market by the US as a "massacre"and refers to the bombing of Baghdad as an attempt to "terrorize the population".

Guess where else her work has been published? Z-mag. Yes, the magazine for aging Communists run by Howard Zinn. Yes, that Howard Zinn.

My spidey senses are beginning to tingle here folks. Two possibilities:

a) She will be released after a concerted campaign to pressure the hostage takers to release her from Arab dicatators, Islamists, and European leftists. After all, when the Left pushes for the release of a hostage the Islamofascists listen. They would hate to lose their closes allies in the West.

b) Folks, there is something fishy about this.....on the phone as she's being abducted?

In either case expect a series of stories arising out of her ordeal in which she recounts the attrocities of the Americans in Iraq which forced the 'freedom fighters' to capture her.........


Several Italians have been abducted in Iraq, including two women. The two aid workers, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, were abducted on Sept. 7th by a group calling itself Ansar al Zawahiri. The group initially threatened to behead the two, but later they were released.

Two other Italian hostages were not so lucky. Salvatore Santoro was murdered by the Islamic Army in Iraq some time around December 16th. The terrorists delivered a video to al Jazeera, but the station deemed the footage too gruesome to air.

Enzo Baldoni was another Italian reporter who met the fate of so many hostages in Iraq. Baldoni was in Iraq with the Red Cross when he was abducted by the Islamic Army in Iraq. He was later murdered by that group because Italy refused to remove its troops from Iraq. Al Jazeera aired a tape of Baldoni shortly before he was murdered.

To the terrorists who have taken Giuliana Sgrena I say vaffanculo!!!

PS-Because of a DNS attack on the domain, trackbacks have been temporarily disabled. Sorry. E-mail me and I'll manually link you.

Others on the case: Cranky Neocon, Chad Evans, Digger, Michele Catalano, TBTN, Hyscience, MVRWC, Spoons, .....

Posted by: Rusty at 02:07 PM


1 Has anyone seen Eason Jordan in the area?

Posted by: Eric at February 04, 2005 08:26 AM

2 Nothing to worry about. When Italians get captured, they are swiftly released for a small fee. (See the Two Simonas for further details)

Posted by: Preston Taylor Holmes at February 04, 2005 08:34 AM

3 Does it ever fucking end?

Posted by: Laura at February 04, 2005 09:30 AM

4 I call "Shenanigans!"

Posted by: TC@LeatherPenguin at February 04, 2005 09:53 AM

5 vaffanculo!!!!

Your trackback pinger is down btw..

Posted by: Digger at February 04, 2005 10:18 AM

6 Hey Rusty now you're in MY territory. Actually contrary to popular belief, most people not Italian think that expression means "fuck you", when in reality, it means "up the ass"....the Va part is like in Spanish "to go" and the culo means "ass"....interpretation, "go up your ass", or "up your ass".

I never learned Italian from my parents but my Dad DID teach me the curse words!!!!

Posted by: Laura at February 04, 2005 03:47 PM

7 One other thing, Prof, is the kidnapping of those two French reporters. They were held for months, and finally released unharmed. There was little news of them after about 2 weeks from the french news services and the BBC.

Posted by: William Teach at February 04, 2005 06:14 PM

8 Laura: Is there a big difference? Not to JIM.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 04, 2005 07:51 PM

9 Hate to change the subject but my computer just flashed me news that the muslims in Baghdad are now blowing up each other mosques. Love it. I gues they are only holy when a non muslim walks by. Again, Love it.

Posted by: greyrooster at February 04, 2005 10:13 PM

10 Good! Maybe they can all eliminate each other and save our boys the trouble, then they can come home.

Posted by: Laura at February 05, 2005 09:00 AM

11 It's a throwback to the "Witch-test" of the middle ages. In that they threw a woman into the river and if she drowned she was innocent and if she floated she was a confirmed Witch and burned.

In this case if she's beheaded she was innocent and if not... is a Witch.

Posted by: DANEgerus at February 06, 2005 07:00 PM

12 The irony of course is the 'witch' is released to burn us... rather then be burned.

Posted by: DANEgerus at February 06, 2005 07:07 PM

13 well what happened was it a hoax or what? Haven't heard a thing.

Posted by: Laura at February 07, 2005 07:47 AM

14 From here in Baghdad the story seems even more flawed.

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