Breaking: Kidnapped BBC reporter freed? Update: Video added; Update: “Appalling”

posted at 8:57 pm on July 3, 2007 by Allahpundit

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Good news from the Gaza strip.

Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist held hostage in the Gaza Strip since March, was handed over by his Islamist captors to ruling Hamas officials on Wednesday, a Palestinian source close to negotiations for his release said.

The source and another Palestinian involved in the talks both said they saw the 45-year-old Briton being taken into the care of officials from the Hamas movement, which seized full control of Gaza three weeks ago.

Hamas gunmen on Tuesday took up positions around the stronghold of the shadowy group holding Johnston, stepping up the pressure to secure his release.

Members of Hamas’ 6,000-strong militia moved onto high-rise rooftops and deployed gunmen in streets in the Gaza City neighborhood of the Doghmush clan.

Take a lesson from people who would know — this is how you deal with jihadist threats. Exit question: What are the odds that one or more of the gunmen also work for the Beeb?

Update: Here’s the vid, with plenty of Hamas savages crowding in for a little lens time. Many thanks to our pal “Flying Dutchman” for clipping it.

Update: I can’t wait to hear what kind words he has for Hamas. But for now:

“It is the most fantastic thing to be free,” he said.

He described his experience of captivity as “appalling” and “occasionally quite terrifying”.

“It became quite hard to imagine normal life again,” he said.

“I literally dreamt many times of being free and always woke up back in that room.”

Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, is already touting this as proof of the “security” they’ve brought to the strip.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Good news for Johnston and his family, if this pans out. But this means that Hamas has crushed the last remaining pockets of resistance to its total control of Gaza.

Will we now see sharia strictly enforced in Gaza? I bet now that Johnston is freed the MSM, and especially the Beeb, will drop Gaza like 3rd period French. Gaza is sooo 2005. After all, Pakistan can fill their quota of “Islamists vs National Government” stories.

Thomas the Wraith on July 3, 2007 at 9:05 PM

handed over “to ruling Hamas officials”…

Now what?

I pray for his safe return, then we’ll have a template for some more officials to follow in like cases.

shooter on July 3, 2007 at 9:14 PM

Thank God.

I’m watching the story on BBC and they’re spinning it as an example of the goodness of Hamas. I won’t snark on them as they must be relieved that their colleague is safe.

aengus on July 3, 2007 at 9:15 PM

Please, let them release him safe.

Stormy70 on July 3, 2007 at 9:19 PM

Waiting for confirmation from others…..have a difficult time trusting Hamas and the beeb. But hopeful that the information is correct for him and his family.

dustoffmom on July 3, 2007 at 9:29 PM

can’t be true, the “Doghmush” clan live in Alaska.

AZCON on July 3, 2007 at 9:34 PM

I’m watching the story on BBC and they’re spinning it as an example of the goodness of Hamas.

There apparently really is a sucker born every minute.

As cynical as I am regarding Hamas and the Dagmush clan, and despite my great personal dislike for the likes of Mr. Johnston, I hope for his safe return.

Citizen Duck on July 3, 2007 at 9:37 PM

I wonder if Johnson will now show more sympathy for the plight of the Israeli soldiers held by Hamas and Hizballah ? More likely he will have a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome and will either have converted to Islam (like Yvonne Ridley) or lash out at the US and British governments – I hope I’m wrong…

London Boy on July 3, 2007 at 10:04 PM

According to the BeeB, he has been freed.

Here’s video of some of it, what they refer to as him being freed, but he looks like he’s still shackled to me as he gets in the car.

He also looks like he’s been well treated, healthy even. Although, it appears he has lost his toupe’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHgzED1ack

SilverStar830 on July 3, 2007 at 10:07 PM

Yeah, right….if being turned over to an Iranian-backed terrorist government can be called “being freed”.

P. James Moriarty on July 3, 2007 at 10:15 PM

I was watching the trailers before Transformers or Die Hard 4 today and I saw a trailer for a film called The Kingdom. It was set in Saudi Arabia and showed some American being kidnapped. It actually showed jihadists.

I will feel better when Johnson is in British hands.

Stormy70 on July 3, 2007 at 10:18 PM

Oh wait. I forgot to question the timing. So, I’m questioning the timing. This is clearly meant to distract us from LibbyGate, or the Red Mosque or the second week of Sicko or the poor reviews for that Robin Williams movie or something like that.

Thomas the Wraith on July 3, 2007 at 10:41 PM

Exit question: What are the odds that one or more of the gunmen also work for the Beeb?

Just one look at their medical professionals should indicate odds are pretty good.

thedecider on July 3, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Although, it appears he has lost his toupe’.

Yeah, and a couple of fingers too, apparently.

ahem on July 3, 2007 at 10:55 PM

Anyone else agree with me that it’s striking how competently Hamas’ security forces dealt with this situation, particularly winning his release?

Considering their success in the recent civil war with Fatah, perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising…

Christoph on July 3, 2007 at 10:57 PM

Just one look at their medical professionals should indicate odds are pretty good.
thedecider on July 3, 2007 at 10:47 PM

heh. seemingly ubiquitous these days. Thx Dems.

shooter on July 3, 2007 at 10:58 PM

I would think about 100 kilotonne should deter further kidnappings. If not then just keep ratcheting it up 1000 kilotonne etc. It will sink in eventually.

TheSitRep on July 3, 2007 at 10:59 PM

Anyone else agree with me that it’s striking how competently Hamas’ security forces dealt with this situation, particularly winning his release?

Christoph: Are you suggesting that his release was somehow fixed to make Hamas look good? Good Lord, man. I would never in a million years have suspected such a thing!

ahem on July 3, 2007 at 11:04 PM

Good news, hope he gets home safe.

Hamas, you gotta give it to them, they know how to work them some propaganda.

VolMagic on July 3, 2007 at 11:15 PM

Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, is already touting this as proof of the “security” they’ve brought to the strip.

Somehow I don’t think I’d be touting about freeing a hostage from terrorists as proof that the place is ‘secure’. I guess it depends on your definition of security. Yeah – let the mob run the place. We’ll all be better then for sure.

thedecider on July 3, 2007 at 11:54 PM

When will the left start using this to prove the humanity and decency of the Palestinian people….In fact, how much you want to bet they will claim it was a Jewish conspiracy to slander the “Peaceful” Palestinians?

Tim Burton on July 4, 2007 at 12:46 AM

Anyone else agree with me that it’s striking how competently Hamas’ security forces dealt with this situation, particularly winning his release?

Christoph: Are you suggesting that his release was somehow fixed to make Hamas look good? Good Lord, man. I would never in a million years have suspected such a thing!

ahem on July 3, 2007 at 11:04 PM
No, ahem, I’m suggesting Hamas’ security forces dealt with this aggressively and competently. Brutal or not, they seem highly capable.

Christoph on July 4, 2007 at 4:25 AM

Anybody else find the press reactions to this as compared to Steve Centanni’s release (of Fox News) interesting?

Skywise on July 4, 2007 at 5:04 AM

Happy Independence Day, Mr. Johnston!
:)
Great News, but all this talk of Hamas getting credit? For what? For doing what is right? No, they don’t get any extra credit for doing what is expected of civilized people.

bridgetown on July 4, 2007 at 7:56 AM

I think about our very casual references to the Hamas maggots as “savages” and “maggots”, and the Islamist habit of referring to non-Islamists as “infidels”. And if I have it right, the war shrinks say that the first step toward being really effective at killing the other guys is dehumanization.

And then I think we’re set up here for some powerful ugliness.

Jaibones on July 4, 2007 at 9:46 AM

handed over by his Islamist captors to ruling Hamas officials

Islamist captors–ruling Hamas officials. Department of redundancy department.

smellthecoffee on July 4, 2007 at 10:18 AM

BBC reporter = The 5th Column.

That’s like saying Pakistan turned Osama Bin Laden into Hamas.

flagwaver on July 4, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Jailbones-

I think the “powerful ugliness” started with Mogadishu, Daniel Pearl having his head sliced off, children at Beslan being blown to shreds, Nick Berg having his head sawed off, and a thing called 9/11, a while ago.

What do you call people who cut the throat of a flight attendant to intimidate passengers on a plane in order to get into the cockpit where they cut the throats of the pilot and crew, and then fly the jetliners’ vacationers into skyscrapers full of people at work on a nice September morning?

Baddies?

profitsbeard on July 4, 2007 at 4:16 PM