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An update to the story of the murder of Atwar Bahjat. Questions have been raised concerning the identity of the victim in the video. According to this wikipedia entry photos of Atwar Bahjat's body prove she was not decapitated. The photos linked from the entry, while gruesome, are not conclusive.
What's known at this time: Atwar Bahjat was kidnapped and murdered while covering the Samarra bombing. The author of the London Times' story has been with the paper for some time, and is self-identified as "a friend of Bahjat who had worked with her on a variety of tough assignments". According to that Times story, the paper received a video of an execution that concludes with a close-up of the victim's face. The author has seen the video. The video is "cell phone" quality. The author says the victim is Atwar Bahjat.
Update: The Jawa report says the Times has been hoaxed. From the evidence, if this is the same video the Times has the reporter must have very poor eyesight, or memory. The victim is a dark haired man who looks nothing like Atwar Bahjat.
It should be noted the Times has not yet commented on the situation.
And it should be obvious that none of this diminishes the horror of either event - the killing of this man or the murder of Atwar Bahjat.
Ansar al-Sunna (the guys doing the beheading) were once part of an organization called ‘Ansar al-Islam. These guys were around BEFORE the invasion and were busy fighting the secular Kurds before we bombed them into oblivion. Oh, and they were funded by ‘friends’ in Afghanistan (OBL). They also had a truce with Saddam since their main enemies were secular Kurds. They also once had a fellow by the name of Abu Musab al Zarqawi as one of their operatives before the invasion.Still no word from the London Times. It's late here in Europe - probably won't happen tonight.
I'm not sure those photos prove anything. Miss Bahjat's headscarf is stuffed in the top of her jacket where her neck...or any cuts to it... would show. Is it possible that when they were getting the body ready for transportation, they tidied her up somewhat? In other words ( sorry for the crudeness) they may have put her head back where it belongs and put the scarf there to camouflage the reality. Otherwise, why would thet have put it on her neck instead of on her head?
Whatever happened, these mad dogs must be resisted with every ounce of force and will that we have at our disposal.Posted by Meg at May 8, 2006 07:16 PM
I agree -- the Wikipedia photo's prove nothing, except that she took some real punishment to the side of her fact. Then, there's the stuffed headscarf .... or whatever it is.
Also -- the video proves that a woman was indeed brutally murdered. This is okay, even if it's not the journalist ... ?
However, we can now return to our regularly scheduled programming, in which it will be proved that Bush is the REAL terrorist, Bushlied ... only a Democrat can saaaave us and yadayadayada.Posted by FrauBudgie at May 8, 2006 08:14 PM
Bottom line is that this video regardless of wheather if it is of an Iraqi journalist or a Nepalise truck driver still represents the evil we face and must confront in Iraq. The fact that someone did this in the name of what they believe to be god is very clear evidence that freedom of religion must replace the religious intollerance practiced by Islamic fundamentalism world wide.
The Times didn't have a link to a video that I could see. Where did this come from? The description of the murder didn't say she was beheader, just that her throat was cut and she was stepped on to make her blood spurt.
I noticed that a number of lefty bloggers were laying this at the foot of Bush and the war. Not so, apparently. They're real warriors aren't they, kidnapping women and slaughtering them in the name of Allah. She stood up to them on behalf of her country. She deserves a shrine of her own for her courage and martyrdom for the Iraqi people. I doubt that these creeps can continue to hide forever. This is enough to sicken even the most partisan Sunni.Posted by AST at May 9, 2006 04:51 AM
My bad. I reread the article and it does say she was beheaded. The photo at Getty doesn't look to me as if she were beheaded, though it's probably inconclusive.
How many times have we seen videos like this now? Danny Pearl was the first I remember, and I can't figure out how we seem to have lost our national will to get these people. I thought Americans were made of sterner stuff.Posted by AST at May 9, 2006 05:23 AM
"From the evidence, if this is the same video the Times has the reporter must have very poor eyesight, or memory. The victim is a dark haired man who looks nothing like Atwar Bahjat"
You think it is possible for anybody let alone an associate to mistake a video of a woman being stripped with a video of a man ? Couldn't you just conclude it isn't the same video ?Posted by Tank at May 9, 2006 03:25 PM
From my viewing of the photo it looks as though her left pinky finger was cut off. Notice the light green turtle neck she was wearing under the green top coat is soaked with blood. Also looks like they rolled her around a bit as well, pebbles and dust lodged in the green top coat.
Shameful.Posted by blanstein at May 9, 2006 10:26 PM
What I can't figure out is how Hala Jaber, an award winning journalist, could write this article when back in February she wrote of seeing details of her friend Atwar's body in a green coat, and that the body had "taken two bullets to the head." And as a journalist and friend of Atwar's she must have seen the photographs of Atwar's body.
Doesn't make any sense that she could have been so easily duped. The Sunday Times needs to clarify this.
And I'm sorry Meg, but the photographs *do* prove everything. The idea that the animals who cut that head off and placed it on the corpse's chest *on videotape* would then reclothe her and re-attach her head to 'camoflage reality" is just absurd.Posted by The Unknown Blogger at May 10, 2006 08:29 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(8) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)