The Global War On You Know Who

"The West is facing a concerted effort by Islamic jihadists, the motives and goals of whom are largely ignored by the Western media, to destroy the West and bring it forcibly into the Islamic world -- and to commit violence to that end even while their overall goal remains out of reach. That effort goes under the general rubric of jihad."
-- Robert Spencer

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Surprise: Another German Hostage Crisis

Any asshat can tell you: subsidizing thugs only gets you more thuggery. But no, Germany insists on finding out the hard way. Former German ambassador and family kidnapped in Yemen.
A former German government minister, his wife and three children were kidnapped in Yemen on Wednesday, local officials said, and one of their captors said their lives would be at risk if Yemen used force to free them.

"They are safe. But if force is used to free them, the hostages' lives would be put in danger," one of the kidnappers from the al-Abdullah tribe told Reuters by telephone. "We were forced to do this to focus the government's attention to our cause," he said.

Last week, Yemeni tribesmen seized two Austrians. A month ago, another group of tribesmen captured two Swiss tourists. Both kidnappings were aimed at pressuring the government to free jailed relatives and all tourists were released unharmed.

Chrobog, 65, was Germany's ambassador to the United States from 1995 to 2001. In 2003, he was the top diplomat dealing with Europeans abducted in the Sahara desert and was able to secure the release of 14 hostages, including nine Germans.
A ransom was paid in that case, of course.

And fallout from the Osthoff saga continues: looks like the baddies did indeed get more than Hamadi. Tigerhawk reports that "the Germans are particularly angry [about Osthoff's plans to return to Iraq] since they seem to have paid good money to secure her return."
"A self-willed woman!" exploded Hans-Ulrich Klose, the deputy leader of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. "Incomprehensible," agreed Ruprecht Polenz, the committee chairman. "In the event of a second kidnapping one would have to discuss who should foot the bill."
How about: NO ONE. A Tigerhawk commenter wisely notes: "That's the thing about extortion, the bill tends to keep coming due. The German government should have asked itself this question before it paid up the first time."

It makes you wonder what percentage of the German federal budget is allocated to pay ransoms. Or does that fall under defense spending?

UPDATE: Osthoff told that kidnappers were Zarqawi's thugs; denies intentions to return to Iraq.

UPDATE II: Osthoff's veiled interview with ZDF "incoherent."
Even the heavily edited version (ZDF spokesman: "We wanted to protect Osthoff from herself.") of the original 15-minute interview was barely comprehensible. Questions were left unanswered and at times Osthoff rambled off into non-sequiturs about how badly she had been treated by her landlord back in Germany. When asked how the kidnapping had been carried out, she was evasive, simply responding: "I think these details are not interesting. That doesn't interest anyone. Generally kidnappings are carried out quite violently. People watch a lot of television and realize perhaps that you don't let yourself get abducted voluntarily."
What an odd thing to say.