Italian Hostage: Hoax or the Fruits of anti-American Activism?

UPDATE 2/07/05: Italian Hostage Hoax: Terrorists to Release Giuliana Sgrena
The mystery surrounding the abduction of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena deepened today as Italy promised to negotiate with terrorists for her release. Yesterday we reported that something seemed a little odd about her abduction.

First, she was abducted while conducting interviews with refugees from Fallujah in Baghdad. Having read some of Sgrena's work in the past, there is very little doubt that the emphasis of the story would be on the horrors inflicted on that city by the American troops. Ms. Sgrena is an anti-war activist with journalistic credentials.

Second, she just happened to be on the phone with another journalist Barbara Schiavulliduring the abduction. Ms. Schiavulli recently interviewed the terrorist Abu Abid in the Gaza strip. Today, Schiavulli received this mysterious phone call. Reuters:

A friend of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was kidnapped in Baghdad on Friday, received a call on Saturday from Sgrena's telephone but it was unclear who was at the other end of the line. Barbara Schiavulli, a correspondent for Italian radio news agency GRT, saw Sgrena's number appear on her telephone screen but when she answered she heard only Arab music and no one spoke, an editor at GRT in Rome said.

"The call lasted only a short moment and then the line was cut off. Barbara tried to call back but she couldn't get through. It was impossible to know if the call was intentional or if it was an accident," Simona D'Alessio told Reuters.

Then there is this report that two Iraqis working with Ms. Sgrena are being held by the police. News 24:
Iraqi police are holding two companions of kidnapped Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena for questioning about her abduction, officials said Saturday.

Interior Ministry official Sabah Khazim said that the two were held for questioning "so that we can have a clear idea about the circumstances of the abduction of the Italian journalist and they will be released soon".

Colonel Adnan Abdul Rahman, another Interior Ministry official, said authorities wanted to gather as many details as possible from the two.

The officials would not identify the pair but sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they included her driver and interpreter.

There is also the generic name of the terrorist group said to be holding Sgrena, The Islamic Jihad Organization.

From Ms. Sgrena's history two things become clear. One, she has a long history of opposing U.S. military force and chooses to emphasize the innocent casualties of war rather than the innocent casualties of the evil regimes these wars topple. Two, her anti-war focus brings her into close proximity with terrorists and their sympathizers.

What kind of people, exactly, did Giuliana Sgrena think she was hanging around with? Unlike hostages such as American Roy Hallums or Italian reporter Enzo Baldoni, Sgrena was not in Iraq to help with reconstruction and abducted from her home. She was interviewing people who think that the Americans were the bad guys.

The leftist world-view is unified by only one theme: America is the bad guy. When seen from this view then it is perfectly logical to see terrorists in Iraq as 'partisans' or 'resistance fighters'. Sgrena seems to be the victim of her own naivity about those who are resisting America's efforts to build a democratic Iraq. Or worse.

Could her own sympathies with the 'resistance' lead her to stage her own abduction? The coming weeks will tell.

More on Sgrena from the pro-terrorist al Jazeera:

Giuliana Sgrena, 56, a veteran Middle East correspondent for the leftist Il Manifesto daily...

Within hours, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said talks had begun to try to secure her release, as the so-called Islamic Jihad Organisation handed him a chilling 72-hour deadline to pull his 3000 troops out of Iraq.

"The negotiating machinery has been set in motion," Berlusconi told a meeting of his ruling party, Forza Italia, hoping that it would be possible "to achieve a solution quickly". ...

Sent to Baghdad to cover Sunday's elections, Sgrena was described by colleagues as an Arabic-speaking feminist with a passionate interest in Islam...

"Giuliana is petite, reserved and the complete opposite of what you'd image a war correspondent to be, but she fears nothing," said her editor Loris Campetti.

"She has very good contacts in Baghdad, including with the ulamas [Muslim clergy], and is against the war, in keeping with the Manifesto line. She was never embedded and wrote very personal and documented reports."

Posted by: Rusty at 11:25 AM


1 Very good Sir!
I see that your bullshit meter is up and running.

Posted by: elliott at February 05, 2005 11:59 AM

2 It certainly isn't beyond possibility that she'd stage it; after all, a US Marine staged his own phony abduction.

I'll come right out and say I am SURE it's phony. It's awfully "convenient" that an Italian anti-war activist was taken hostage to demand Italy's withdrawal of troops.

If I'm wrong, then I'm sorry and I wish for her safety. But I don't think I am.

Posted by: Beth at February 05, 2005 10:17 PM

3 Dear terrorists: Cut the America hating skanks throat and prove you got her!

Posted by: Filthy Allah at February 07, 2005 10:04 AM

4 As I mentioned in Wizbang, this smelled like an insurance fraud. Chances are good that this 'journalist' bought kidnapping insurance (I would've if my line of work involves risk of getting kidnapped). The co-conspirator 'kidnapped' this 'journalist', and contacted the insurance about payment. The 'kiddnapped journalist' is release after the cash exchange hands, and everyone is happy except the insurnace company.

Posted by: BigFire at February 07, 2005 02:12 PM

5 Maybe, but the fact that she was 'in' with the Mullahs makes me think this was more for propaganda purposes than anything else.

Posted by: Rusty at February 07, 2005 02:18 PM

6 This story is indeed very fishy. Wasn't there a lot of speculation that the abduction of 2 female italian aid workers some months ago was also staged?

Posted by: Trapeze at February 07, 2005 03:42 PM

7 this is quite fishy but this artical seems to suggest that it is the italian reporter whom is behind this "hoax" instead of......oh I don't know......some crazy kids who posted the "announcement" in an attept to get a few kicks...and we must remeber that JUST because the reporter was apperantly Anti-war and pro-Iraq resistance does NOT mean that Terrorists wouldn't kiddnap her....I mean she is a Communist(not that thats bad) and therefor some what anti-religous ["religion is the opium of the people"- Karl Marx, the "father" of communism]

lets all use our BRIANS for a change, OK?

Posted by: Common Sense at February 08, 2005 10:08 AM

8 Just because she was antiwar, anti-American, pro-arab doesn't by any means rule out the possibility or likelyhood that she is a genuine hostage whose life may still be in danger (assuming ,hopefully, she's not dead already).
Remember poor Margaret Hassan-violently against the war and against the 13 years of santions, married to an Iraqui Muslim and a MUSLIM CONVERT HERSELF. Nobody doubts she is dead hold under horrendous circumstances and murdered in a hoorendous way.
And what about Florence Aubenas another anti-war reporter still missing for 5 weeks and not a word about her. If she's not yet dead she almost certainly wishes SHE WERE.
tHE SOONER ALL THESES ANTIWAR reporters, parties and individuals realise just what is being fought for in Iraq and in in many other places the better. to many Muslim extreemists(of couse by no means all Muslims) the only good infidel is a dead infidel and even convertising to Islam is excuses you not an iota if you were born an infidel especialy a western infidel. it would be nice to thik Aubenas and the italian woman will learn their and realise that being an embedded reporter is not a propergand ruse but a way of staying alive. UNFORTUNATELY A LESSON TOO LATE TO LEARN FOR AUBENAS AND QUITE PROBABLY THE ITALIAN WOMAN TOO.

Posted by: ANDY LIZAR at February 09, 2005 06:42 PM

I wish to offer my services to you as a spiritualist, i do believe that through special
prayers, the abducted italian journalist could successfully be set free by the powers of the Almighty Allah instead of wasting time talking
unnecessary.Obsession with materialism wont take the world any where.
I shall be very glad if my message could be kindly conveyed to the family of the said journalist especially her dad Mr. Franco .
I am an african muslim spiritualst and i do very much believe in my God.My services fees are very affordable
Contact address;
Mallam Abdullahi

Posted by: mallam abdulahi at February 17, 2005 09:15 AM

10 Just another dead cracker hoe if you ask me. Only she speak one of the "romantic" languages. What she doin there anyway? You play with fire, you get burnt. I think it could have been a lot hotter for her and if she's gone, I hope it's even hotter there. If she has a daughter, maybe we'll luck out and she'll join her momma's views and go out and be a missionary only to be abducted and become another martyr for stupidity. Yay. Besides, Columbus was a thug and jacked North America from the original inhabitants. Where her family stay? I owe her one. Allahu akbar.

Posted by: Lava at March 01, 2005 12:44 PM

11 Hoe as in garden hoe? Perhaps you meant ho as in whore?

Posted by: Bob Dob at March 06, 2005 07:19 PM

12 I don't care if she is a journalist who is totally against the Iraq War and America, she shouldn't have had her ass over there right in the big middle of the danger in the first place.

I did not wish this woman anything but safely home. She got out yes, however, she got injured and her negotiator paid his life for her being in the line of fire.

Any journalist going over there, must realize that they are taking a great risk with their life.
THIS IS DANGEROUS TERRITORY, and sadly anything can easily happen.

Posted by: Marilynn at March 06, 2005 09:37 PM


Posted by: ndubuisi at March 08, 2005 02:15 AM

14 insistedlightenedunevenly

Posted by: release at August 29, 2005 06:08 AM

15 otherpresenceurine

Posted by: caked at September 02, 2005 09:14 PM

16 cannotexpectedwho

Posted by: swigged at September 20, 2005 12:52 PM

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