Australian Douglas Wood in Hostage Video, Appeals to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bush, Howard

Another day another hostage taking. This one is an Australian man named Douglas Wood who has recently made his home in Danville, CA. A group calling itself 'The Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq' claimed the abduction. You may download the video here, via Vlad.

Here is the transcript I made of the video. It appears that there is a longer version of it which I have not obtained yet.

President Bush, Prime Minister Howard, Governor Schwarzenegger, family, friends, please help take the American troops, the Australian troops, the British troops out of here and let Iraq look out for itself.

I have (or am) strong [garbled....mumbling of another voice, possibly telling him what to say.... but press reports claim Wood says "My captors are fiercely patriotic. They believe in a strong, united Iraq looking after its own destiny"]

...look out for themselves and (garbled) their neighbors.

But please help, I don't want to die.

Australia formed a team of diplomats, defence staff and police on Monday who will attempt to free an engineer seized by Iraqi insurgents, but the government had a blunt message for the kidnappers: Australia will not remove its troops from Iraq or pay any ransom.

In a tape obtained Sunday by Associated Press Television News, a man identified himself as Douglas Wood, 63, an Australian working in Iraq, and appealed for the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops. Two people wearing masks pointed automatic weapons at him.

"Please help me. I don't want to die," Wood said, his voice cracking with emotion in the video, aired repeatedly Monday on Australian television.

On the tape, the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Wood's wife, Pearl, told AP that the man on the tape was definitely her husband. She said he had worked in Iraq as an engineer for about a year and a half.

In the tape, Wood appealed to U.S. President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard to pull their soldiers out of Iraq and leave the country to Iraqis to look after themselves.

That's not going to happen, Howard said.

"Everybody knows the position of the Australian government in relation to hostage demands," Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. "We can't have the foreign policy of this country dictated by terrorists."

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer underscored the point.

"Let me make it quite clear, we will not be changing any polices and we will not be paying any ransom," he said.

Chad at In the Bullpen notes that The Shura Council of the Mujahadin Army is a new group and that this may be a simply extortion gimmick.

On the other hand, the fact that the group used 'Shura Council' in their name might mean that Mr. Wood was charged with a Sharia crime. This is the tactic used by groups such as Ansar al-Sunnah, al Qaeda, and The Islamic Army in Iraq. Before victims are murdered they are accused of crimes under Islamic law that are punishable by death.

In any event, we pray for the release of Douglas Wood and call upon followers of the Religion of Peace to roundly condemn this and all other hostage taking without equivocation.

Posted by: Rusty at 12:27 PM


1 Good to see some tough talking.

This Prime Minister does not mince his words does he!

Posted by: sparky at May 02, 2005 01:56 PM

2 Tough talk won't help the hostage. They need to buy time, this was not a good move.

Posted by: IM at May 02, 2005 04:59 PM

3 Neither is paying for hostages

I feel sorry for this man just as much as i did all the others and will pray for him but its about time everyone stood united and made their position clear. It is wrong for some countries to give into the terrorists but not others, at least Austrailia are making there positon clear to the terrorists and to anyone taking the risk of going over there to work.

If these people are going to kill this man they will do it anyway just look at Margaret Hussan!

Posted by: sparky at May 03, 2005 09:02 AM

4 Feeling sorry is not going to help anybody and you should be praying for his safe release.

I never said they should give in or pay ransom. It was unwise to reveal their real intentions, it's not a good way to start negotiations.

Besides something else might occur that could save the hostage, you never know...

Posted by: IM at May 03, 2005 11:23 AM

5 IM

I didnt say you did. I was just making an observation. The Austrialian gov. did the same as the USA and the UK when they were in the same situation they refused to negotiate with the terrorists. I think thats what Tony Blair told us when Ken Bigley and Margaret Hassan were taken hostage and stuck to his guns .

Whereas more recently we have seen Italians pay ransons for hostages and a few other countries have also done so. I think i remember the Chinese also refusing to pay ransoms or negotiate either.

As for praying for his safe return i thought i was, maybe i wasnt making myself clear and although feeling sorry for this man does not help i still do feel sorry for him.

I was not having a personal dig at you.

I just dont think paying ransoms helps it sends the wrong message to the terrorists.

Posted by: sparky at May 03, 2005 01:28 PM

6 Sparky

I didnt say you did. I was just making an observation.
I was not having a personal dig at you.
I just dont think paying ransoms helps it sends the wrong message to the terrorists.

Neither did/do I, so I guess we're pretty much in agreement there.
No pun taken & none intended.

Posted by: IM at May 03, 2005 03:33 PM

7 Good i meant no offense :)

Posted by: sparky at May 03, 2005 04:11 PM

8 u weird weird people what does this do.....

Posted by: bob at May 10, 2005 02:53 AM

9 I dont know why that country is still around.. remove all troops and gas the f*kers, i spose it will only cause more trouble but ay its not gonna get much better anyway

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