Breaking: Group claims responsibility for Centanni abduction (Video added) (Update: An Al Qaeda connection?)

posted at 9:38 am on August 23, 2006 by Allahpundit

The “Holy Jihad Brigades”? Whose very first act of holy jihad is to kidnap a reporter and a cameraman?

That’s a shrewd way to get press, but at the rather large expense of antagonizing the Palestinian terror establishment you’re presumably trying to ingratiate yourself with.

Also, it took them nine days to demand that the U.S. release all “Muslim prisoners”?

We have 72 hours to do that, by the way. If we don’t, they’re vowing to — make us wait some more.

I don’t know. The name itself rings false somehow, possibly because it evokes the names of two other Pali terror groups: Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. I bet whoever took him did so for mercenary motives, and now that the heat is on, they’re trying to use Islam as cover. We shall see.

Update: According to Reuters, the statement of demands was sent to Al Jazeera by, um, fax.

Update: Fox is airing a screencap from video of Centanni and Wiig in captivity. I’ll post in a few minutes.

Update: Mary K is transcribing a leaflet put out by the group and obtained by Fox. It’s targeted at Arab leaders: “Muslims have been oppressed around the world. The Arab world is doing what the American government would like them to do. The Arab world has sold out the Palestinian cause. All non-believers should become believers. You raped us. You raped our nation.”

Update: Here’s the video. I boosted the audio to make it a little more intelligible.

Rusty Shackleford‘s working on getting a copy of the original. If there’s anything different about it, we’ll post that too.

Update: Alphabet City notes a report earlier on CNN: “Palestinian security sources say, an unnamed militant group has warned all foreigners to leave Gaza, threatening abductions.” Related?

Update: I love her, but E.M.’s kidding herself:

If Steve and Olaf are killed (heaven forbid), and this turns out to be an organization associated with the Palestinian Jihad (or whatever popular name it chooses these days), there is an actionable act of war that America will have to address. Killing American citizens is never a tolerable “development” for Middle Eastern nations, and were the legitimate Palestinian governing bodies in control, and mildly interested in diplomatic relations, it would behoove them to locate and ‘pursuade’ these hoodlums to return the journalists intact. We are not in a war with Palestine–yet–as we are in Iraq, where although civilians are not fair game, they are collateral damage. They may think its a cute idea to lob a left-fielder at the United States a la the Sunni “insurgency” but it isn’t quite as simple as a single military reovery operation. They’re playing a dice game which, if they lose, could result in a quarter of the entire US Navy showing up in the Suez.

They’ve killed American diplomats and gotten off scot-free. Does she really think Bush is going to mobilize against Islam’s Chosen People over a couple of journalists?

Update: Rusty’s got a ton of grim updates, and a few not so grim. Alphabet City says the kidnappers specifically demanded that prisoners be released from Guantanamo.

Update: The Blotter takes things from bad to worse:

The language in the statement, which denounces the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is similar in style and content to the kind of dispatches issued by Abu Musab al Zarqawi when he was leading al Qaeda in Iraq…

“The rhetoric is vintage al Qaeda,” said Fawaz Gerges, an ABC News Consultant and professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. “This is consistent with what we have seen in Iraq and other places.”…

Also unusual for Palestinian militants was the extraordinary demand issued in the statement that “Muslim prisoners in U.S. jails be released within three days” in exchange for the two Fox journalists. Targeting journalists from an American news organization and making demands on the United States rather than Israel is not typical for Palestinian groups.

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This is what I’m thinking: Centanni and Wiig have been kidnapped by one of the regular groups; probably a single-degree of seperation from Fatah, Hamas, Al-Aqsa Idiot’s Brigade or some other, and then realized they bit off more than they could chew when it was explained to them that most of the press was (regardless of the business affiliation of Centanni and Wiig) sympathetic to Palestinian causes.

After waiting a while to decide what to do, they move them around for a while, call in a ransom demand under a false organizational name, and try to unload them before the abductees get hurt or injured. Should this happen, the journalists off all stripes visiting the area will become less sympathetic, and therefor of less use, to the PA, Hamas, and other gutter denizens of Palestinian life.

-Bryan @ Sanctuary

Prophet on August 23, 2006 at 9:47 AM

Plausible,Prophet,but I don’t think they are really that smart.

bbz123 on August 23, 2006 at 10:01 AM

I tend to think that some Junior Jihadis hoping to become Senior Jihadis got a little overexuberant in their desire to strike at the Great Satan.

I want to say that they ought to know that killing an American is a really, really bad idea for them and for Gazans in general, but that wouldn’t actually be true. And of course, an idea being bad has never been reason for the Palis to reject it.

Pablo on August 23, 2006 at 10:04 AM

I’d go for the overachieving Palie social-climber theory, but they kidnapped them from their marked van yards away from the PA administration building.

-Bryan @ Sanctuary

Prophet on August 23, 2006 at 10:22 AM

And of course, the idiots at DemocraticUnderground are at it again and question, “Would Fox be above doing a “stunt?” Kind of convenient to have two journalists for a RW Cable captured by Palestinians during a time of crisis where there might be some interest in having Palestinians be seen as terrorists.”

Here are two threads if you can stomach the insanity and disgust:×1966618×1966545

Enoxo on August 23, 2006 at 10:26 AM

Well at least we know the Fox guys were alive not too long ago.
This seems to be a combo of the pali-social climber & making sure the press all sings from the same Pali-songbook.

Iblis on August 23, 2006 at 10:27 AM

The Palestinian government should be told that we hold it responsible for this barbaric outrage and that there will be dire consequences if Centanni and Wiig are not released within 24 hours. We should also demand an apology.

What should the dire consequences be as traditional leverage is limited? In addition to pressuring our “allies” to withhold all aid, we should forbid American journalists to visit Gaza. Bereft of European and Arab “blood money” and lacking their sock puppets in the American media to shill for them, the Hamas thugs calling themselves the Gaza government will be reduced to beggary.

ptolemy on August 23, 2006 at 10:47 AM

hope those guys are ok and remain so
I’ve never heard of this group

Defector01 on August 23, 2006 at 10:54 AM

I agree about holding the entire Palestinian people responsible and withholding all financial aid until these two are returned.

If they are killed or harmed we should increase the price for their folly, including some strategic strikes against Hamas, the PLO and any other militant group. Maybe next time they will take responsibility and make these fanatic groups behave.

Umnumzana on August 23, 2006 at 10:56 AM

Two hostages who know how to put pressure on the folks responsible for their abduction, the so called Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people. They didn’t badmouth their own government, they didn’t blame anyone besides their abductors, and they aren’t begging on international TV. Smart men, both of them. I hope they will be out soon.

I am worried that it has taken so long for this tape to come out. I don’t know that I agree this is some harmless Pali social climber. I don’t have a good feeling about this one. Maybe it is me, but usually, kidnappers of journalists have looked at your work and make some sort of judgment about whether you are friendly to their cause or not. Fox is not friendly to the Palestinian cause or jihadis in general, and so I do not feel good about their situation. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think jihadis can be trusted to be reasonable, ever, since 1979. And that’s a long track record.


Subsunk on August 23, 2006 at 11:04 AM

Thank God they’re still alive.

speed647 on August 23, 2006 at 11:04 AM

Yes, let’s hope they stay that way.

Catie96706 on August 23, 2006 at 1:16 PM

Does she really think Bush is going to mobilize against Islam’s Chosen People over a couple of journalists?

I dunno, man. Cheney really likes FoxNews.

Tanya on August 23, 2006 at 1:45 PM


Allahpundit on August 23, 2006 at 1:48 PM

If you guys think DU is bad, check out the beheading wishes over at HuffPo!

Stupid dhimmies.

MsUnderestimated on August 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM

Ref: Holy Jihad Brigades

I don’t know. The name itself rings false somehow, possibly because it evokes the names of two other Pali terror groups: Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.

Perhaps it just lost something in translation.

EFG on August 23, 2006 at 3:30 PM

MsUnderestimated, thanks for the link. Sorry I clicked it though. I am stunned. I can only say to those who are making a joke about their kidnapping, you should be ashamed. It doesn’t matter who they work for, for godsake’s, they’re humanbeings unlike the ones posting over there.

I pray for the safe return of both men.

moonsbreath on August 23, 2006 at 3:38 PM

Very glad to see I was wrong about this……

…..I volunteer to lead the team to go & get them out.


VonHelton on August 23, 2006 at 7:39 PM