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

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Osthoff Was A Spy

She's still nuttier than a fruitcake, but it makes the Germans' eagerness to ransom her somewhat more explicable. It also explains why she was so shocked at how long it took the German government to establish contact with her captors.
Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country's intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday.

The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad.

A convert to Islam and a fluent Arabic speaker, Osthoff had lived in Iraq for over a decade, and was at one time married to an Iraqi. Archeology is a classic intelligence cover: T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) posed as an archeologist in the Middle East in the early part of the last century. But archeology is Osthoff's real profession.

One Washington-based German source said Osthoff had been working on arranging a rendezvous with an al-Qaida member on behalf of a German intelligence agent in Iraq. Whether the meeting ever took place has not been revealed, but another source in Berlin, reached by telephone, said experts believed that the kidnapping may have been the work of a rival group, possibly within the same organization.

A day after [actually, three or four days before] Osthoff's release, the Germans had quietly freed and sent home to his native Lebanon Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Hezbollah militant serving a sentence for killing a U.S. Navy diver in a hijacked TWA jetliner in 1985. Berlin officials denied any connection between Osthoff's release and Hamadi's after serving only 19 years of a life sentence.

But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff's release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Although Merkel has carried on her socialist predecessor Gerhard Schroeder's policy of staying out of Iraq, German intelligence is operating in the area, cooperating with U.S. counterparts both on the ground and in Washington, the sources said.

The Germans' tentative contacts with al-Qaida reflect Berlin's belief in the existence of another split within the Iraqi-based al-Qaida organization itself.
Osthoff responds with a characteristically bizarre "denial":
"If I were a spy I would no longer be alive, my kidnappers would have killed me," Osthoff said in an interview for ARD public television recorded on Saturday that was due to be broadcast on Monday evening.

Osthoff, 43, said she sometimes contacted German diplomats in Baghdad when she learnt about dangerous situations in Iraq, where she lived and worked for 10 years as an archeologist and aid worker.

"This is everybody’s duty. In a conflict and war zone like Iraq, one must do this among fellow countrymen," Osthoff said.
That's an admirably responsible and public-spirited attitude. But Suzy, sweetie, people call that "spying." Go home, take your meds, and keep that veil on.


Post a Comment

<< Home