Still No Word on Kidnapped U.S. Reporter
DEBBIE ELLIOT, host:
There's still been no word on the fate of American journalist Jill Caroll. In a videotape released earlier this week, her kidnappers threatened to killer unless all female detainees in Iraq are released. That deadline expired yesterday and there have been a chorus of calls for her to be let go.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports from Baghdad.
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO reporting:
It's been two weeks to the day since Jill Caroll was abducted. The only word on her fate has come from a video tape delivered to Al-Jazeera television. In the two silent excerpts that were broadcast this past week, she looked tired. In one clip she was surrounded by at least three armed and masked men. It's still not known who has her. A previously unknown group called the Revenge Brigade stamped its name on the video and according to Al-Jazeera, issued a demand for the release for all female prisoners in Iraq by Friday. If not she would be killed, they said.
The U.S. military confirmed that they're holding less than a dozen women in their detention centers, but the deadline passed without any of them being let go.
Today a delegation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations flew to Baghdad to add their voices to those of the many people around the world and Iraq who are calling for her to be let go. In a press conference held at Baghdad's international airport, they said that she has a track record of being objective and embracing Arabic culture. They said her release would be helpful to the Iraqi people.
Yesterday, the Sunni politician whose house she was returning from when she was abducted also demanded her release. Her father appeared on Arabic stations to plead with her kidnappers. Muslim groups in France also called for mercy.
Caroll grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But she felt called, according to family and friends, by the Middle East. When she was abducted she was working for the Christian Science Monitor. She'd been in Iraq covering the story for two years until two weeks ago when she became another victim of the violence here.
And today, according to Reuters, another Arabic station, Al-Arabiya, aired another kidnap video. It showed the son of a Senior Iraqi Defense Ministry official. Another little known group called the Revenge Squadron, is threatening to kill him unless Iraqi security forces stop cooperating with American troops.
Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, NPR news, Baghdad