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Interesting report in The London Sunday Telegraph
Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of the Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on her after she was released, it was claimed yesterday.At the time of Osthoff's release the German government freed Mohammad Ali Hamadi, the convicted killer of United States Navy Diver Robert Dean Stethem . Hamadi had been serving a life sentence.
The German magazine Focus said officials found several thousand dollars in the 43-year-old archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the German embassy in Baghdad after being freed on December 18.
The serial numbers on the bills matched those used to pay off her kidnappers, the magazine said.
Some analysts speculated, however, that the money could have been planted on her or given to her by her kidnappers. Ms Osthoff was unavailable for comment.
At the time of Osthoff's release reuters reported:
German hostage freed in Iraq isn't rushing homeIn other hostage news, there's still no word on the fate of American journalist Jill Carroll, who was kidnapped shortly after Osthoff's release.
A 43-year-old German woman who was held hostage in Iraq for more than three weeks will not immediately return home to Germany, the foreign ministry said on Monday.
"She wants to spend a few days with her daughter protected from the public and so will probably not immediately return to Germany," a foreign ministry spokesman told a news conference.
"We assume however that she will leave Iraq in the near future," he said.
Archaeologist Susanne Osthoff, a convert to Islam who speaks fluent Arabic, disappeared on Nov. 25. She had spent more than a decade working on excavations in Iraq.
Her kidnappers, identified as a previously unknown group called "The Revenge Brigade," threatened to kill Carroll if all Iraqi female prisoners were not released within 72 hours.Update:Representative Vito Fossella (R - NY) writes in the Washington Times:
An Iraqi official said six of the nine women under U.S. detention are expected to be released this week. The U.S. did not confirm the release plans.
The 1985 brutal torture and murder of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Robert Dean Stethem was one of the first chapters in the dark history of a radical Islamic global terrorist insurgency. Since then, the world has witnessed the evil face of terrorism time and again, from the bombings of the Khobar Towers to the attack on the USS Cole to the murder of 3,000 innocent people at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.Read it all.
The old wounds of Stethem's slaying were reopened late last month when the German government released his killer, Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Hezbollah terrorist, after serving only 18 years of a life sentence. That was a travesty of justice.
Hamadi didn't deserve such leniency. He was convicted in 1987 for hijacking TWA Flight 847 and the coldblooded murder of Stethem, a Seabee singled out due to his U.S. military service.
Hamadi beat and tortured Stethem beyond recognition, shot him to death, and, in the final act of inhumanity, dumped his body on the runway two days later. Fingerprints were the only way his body was identified. Hamadi and his fellow terrorists held the remaining 39 passengers hostage for 17 days.
The German government's reason for releasing Hamadi remains unclear, although the subsequent release of a German hostage in Iraq, Susanne Osthoff, has not gone unnoticed. As for Hamadi, he was wise enough not to stick around to ask questions. He gladly accepted his early holiday present and promptly fled to Lebanon, where he reportedly now is hiding.
Ostoff should have to serve the rest of Hamadi's prison term.Posted by File Closer at January 23, 2006 03:24 AM
Any way the United States could arrest her and try her in the dirtbags place?Posted by John M. Schwab at January 24, 2006 12:38 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(2) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)