Saturday, March 25, 2006

Iraq: Was rescue of CPT members staged?

First consider that when British, US and Canadian forces broke into the house where the CPT members were being held captive, not one shot was fired.

Not one kidnapper was to be found. The house was empty save for the three hostages.

No weapons were found.

Were the kidnappers on a lunch break? Maybe a sojourn to Euro Disney.

According to the Toronto Star, "Questions remain about how the rescue unfolded and the level of Canada's involvement. The fact no kidnappers were there when the rescuers arrived gave rise to speculation the men were released as part of a pre-arranged agreement."
Contrary to early reports that an Iraqi detainee had provided information to the Iraqis, the Toronto Star went on to quote an Iraqi interior ministry official:

A senior Iraqi interior ministry official, who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity, said they had no prior knowledge of the operation to free the hostages.

"We knew nothing about it," he said. "This was strictly a foreign intelligence operation involving foreign forces. It came as a complete surprise."

Did the "foreign forces" silently pay a ransom?

Something was definitely afoot.

Consider the following comment from Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper:

"We had some indication that some developments might occur in these few days," Harper said.

In the same article, we get "But the Washington-based SITE institute, which monitors extremists' websites, notices a posting yesterday on an Arabic website that claimed Christian Peacemaker Teams had paid a ransom for the release."

CPT denied the claim.

Further complicating matters is the statement from one of the three hostages that Tom Fox had been separated from the group a few weeks ago.


Canadian media has also reported that Fox may have been killed while trying to escape.