Thursday, January 19, 2006
AP: Mom of reporter kidnapped in Iraq makes appeal - Jan. 19
By NOREEN GILLESPIE, Associated Press Writer 2 minutes ago
NEW YORK - Mary Beth Carroll, right, the mother of kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll, is shown during an appearance on CNN Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, during which she appealed for her daughter's release after her captors threatened to kill her if U.S. authorities don't release all Iraqi women in military custody. (AP Photo/CNN)
The mother said the 28-year-old reporter is a woman of deep conviction who respects the Iraqi people.
"They've picked the wrong person. If they're looking for someone who is an enemy of, Jill is just the opposite," Mary Beth Carroll told CNN's "American Morning."
Mary Beth Carroll said video images aired by Al-Jazeera television on Tuesday gave her hope that her daughter is alive but also have "shaken us about her fate." Her daughter's captors demanded the U.S. release all Iraqi women in military custody by Friday or they would kill her.
"I, her father and her sister are appealing directly to her captors to release this young woman who has worked so hard to show the sufferings of Iraqis to the world," she said, reading from a written statement.
Jill Carroll was working as freelance journalist for The Christian Science Monitor when she was abducted Jan. 7. Both the Monitor's Washington bureau chief, David Cook, and her mother urged the captors Thursday to contact them to discuss her release. Cook would not say specifically if the newspaper would pay ransom. "I think our policy would be that we would welcome contact from the captors," Cook told NBC. "Either the family or the Monitor would be eager to talk to the captors."
The 20-second video aired by Al-Jazeera included a threat to kill her in 72 hours unless U.S. authorities agreed to release the women detainees, according to the station's report. In the video, she appears tired and is speaking but there is no sound. Al-Jazeera's Web site had a still image of the video with a logo that read "The Revenge Brigade," a group that was not known from previous claims of responsibility of violence in Iraq.
The U.S. military has said eight Iraqi women are in military detention, and an Iraqi government commission that has been reviewing detainee cases earlier this week recommended six be released. Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim Ali said the six women would be released next week but "not part of any swap with any kidnappers."
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Wednesday that Carroll's safe return was a priority for the administration, but he refused to say more "because of the sensitivity of the situation."
Insurgents in Iraq, mainly Sunni Arab militants, have kidnapped more than 240 foreigners and killed at least 39.
Jill Carroll was abducted in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhoods while being driven to meet a Sunni Arab politician, who failed to appear for the interview. Her translator was killed, but her driver escaped.
Her mother said she moved to the Middle East to get to know the region before reporting on it. She learned Arabic along the way, she said. Mary Beth Carroll said that she and her daughter had discussed the possibility that she could be kidnapped, but she knew that her daughter believed in the story she was telling in Iraq.
"Those things have been said. And she knows that we love her and support her," Mary Beth Carroll said. "She knows that we can be strong for her."
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