« | »

Fox Reporters Freed After “Conversion” To Islam

The inside dope from Aljazeera:

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (L) talks to Fox correspondent Steve Centanni (C) and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig (R) after their release in Gaza August 27, 2006.

Fox News journalists freed

Sunday 27 August 2006, 15:08 Makka Time, 12:08 GMT

Two Fox News journalists kidnapped in Gaza have been freed, the television network says.

Steve Centanni, a 60-year-old American, and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were seized on August 14 by a previously unknown group called the Holy Jihad Brigades.

After what was one of the longest detentions for foreign captives in Gaza, television images showed the two men being taken into a hotel by Palestinian security officials on Sunday.

The Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the kidnapping and had told the United States to free Muslim prisoners to prevent the captives from facing unspecified consequences.

The United States had rejected the demand and the deadline expired on Saturday.

Khaled Abu Hilal, the Palestinian interior ministry spokesman, said the government had received assurances that the hostages would be freed.

Just before their release, a second video of the pair was issued.

Religious conversion

Both journalists appeared to be in good health in the new video.

The two men were shown separately, sitting cross-legged, reading statements announcing that they had converted to Islam.

Centanni said: "I changed my name to Khaled. I have embraced Islam and say the word Allah."Centanni said: "I changed my name to Khaled. I have embraced Islam and say the word Allah."

Wiig called on leaders of the West to stop "hiding behind the ‘I don’t negotiate with terrorists’ myth".

A separate statement from the captors said: "They chose Islam and that is a gift that God gives those whom he chooses."

Centanni later told CNN by telephone from Gaza City that they felt that they had to convert to Islam.

"I have the highest respect for Islam, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns and we didn’t know what the hell was going on," he said.

Political lobby

Ismail Haniya, the Palestinian prime minister, said the kidnappers had nothing to do with al-Qaeda nor any known Palestinian groups.

Videos of the captives released by the kidnappers had borne all the hallmarks of hostage tapes shot by fighters in Iraq.

"These are young men who carried out the action out of private beliefs," Haniya told reporters.

No arrests have been made.

The Hamas-led government had called for the men to be freed while several prominent resistance groups in Gaza denied involvement and also said the men should be freed.


It’s not a religion. It’s a cult. Of and by and for thugs.

10th century thugs.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 27th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

71 Responses to “Fox Reporters Freed After “Conversion” To Islam”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »