BBC journalist's captors threaten to turn on Hamas

Group says it's prepared 30 booby-trapped cars that will be used against Hamas if it tries to free Johnston by force.

July 1, 2007 22:35
1 minute read.
BBC journalist's captors threaten to turn on Hamas

alan johnston 298 88. (photo credit: AP)


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The captors of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston said on Sunday they have prepared 30 booby-trapped cars that will be used against Hamas militiamen if they try to release the journalist by force. Johnston is being held by members of the notorious Dughmush clan in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City. The captors, headed by Mumtaz Dughmush, call themselves the Army of Islam. Members of the clan accused Hamas of kidnapping and killing one of their sons on Saturday night. They identified the victim as Ahmed Dughmush, 28. The clan said his bullet-riddled body was discovered in Gaza City shortly after he was kidnapped from the street by members of Hamas's paramilitary Executive Force. "Ahmed was a Fatah member who was working for the Palestinian Authority before the Hamas coup in the Gaza Strip," said a member of the clan. "He was executed by the Hamas murderers less than an hour after he was kidnapped." He said that Hamas was trying to drag the Dughmush clan into a confrontation in order to release Johnston. "Hamas thinks that by executing and terrorizing us they will achieve their goals," he added. "But they are mistaken." Another clan member threatened to kill Johnston if Hamas tried to release him by force. "We have prepared 30 bobby-trapped cars for them," he said. Hamas militiamen have been surrounding the compound where the clan lives for the past two weeks. Hamas officials said it was only a matter of time before their men raided the compound to release the journalist. They described Mumtaz Dughmush as a "big thug" who is using Islam as a cover for his criminal activities.

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