Reporter's captors change demands

In e-mail statement, Army of Islam again threatens to "slaughter" Johnston.

June 26, 2007 23:05
2 minute read.
Reporter's captors change demands

alan johnston 298 88. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


The shadowy Palestinian group that kidnapped a British reporter on Tuesday threatened to kill him, adding freedom for an al-Qaida-linked prisoner to its list of demands and charging that Hamas detained two of its members. In a statement e-mailed to reporters late Tuesday, the Army of Islam threatened that British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent Alan Johnston will be "slaughtered like a sheep" if its demands are not met. The message demanded that Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, who is being held in Jordan, be released. Al-Maqdisi is known as the spiritual mentor of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Earlier, the group demanded freedom for Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her role in the al-Qaida led triple hotel bombing in Jordan in 2005 that killed 60 people, Jordan's worst terror attack. Al-Rishawi, 35, was intended to be one of the suicide bombers. In its message, the Palestinian group also called the Hamas arrest of two of its members a "declaration of war." The group threatened to target Hamas leaders if attacked. In response, Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for deposed PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, said, "We reject the continued captivity of Alan and we are still working to release him at the soonest possible opportunity." He did not relate to the declaration of war comment. The British Foreign Office said it was aware of the statement. "We have made it clear that it's our top priority to see Alan Johnston released," a Foreign Office spokesman said on condition of anonymity, in line with government policy. "We condemn statements like this, which only cause further distress for his friends and family." The British Broadcasting Corp. said in a statement, "We are aware of the reports, and are watching them closely." Johnston was abducted from a Gaza street on March 12. His kidnapping has been condemned by governments, human rights groups, journalists' associations and Palestinian leaders. On Monday the group posted a video message from Johnston on a militant Web site. "I have been dressed in what is an explosive belt, which the kidnappers say will be detonated if there is an attempt to storm the area," he said in the recording. "They say they are ready to turn the hideout into what they describe as a death zone if there is an attempt to free me by force." A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office condemned the release of the video, while Johnston's father, Graham Johnston, said his family was "most concerned and distressed at this latest development" and pleaded for Alan to be freed unharmed.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
October 16, 2018
The curious case of ‘woke’ Ahmadinejad