New Terrorist Group Claims Responsibility for Fox Journalists Abduction
by Jim Kouri, CPP
A new group of Palestinian terrorists, The Holy Jihad Brigades, has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two Fox News journalists. In a message, the terrorists said they will give the United States 72 hours to trade the journalists for Muslim prisoners being detained in US detention centers and prisons.
Fox News Channel showed a videotape originally received from the Palestinian news agency Ramattan. It was the first glimpse of Fox correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand since they were abducted on August 14 from their TV van near the Palestinian security services headquarters in Gaza City.
Their abductors wore black masks and were heavily armed when they captured the journalists who were covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, according to Palestinian Authority police officials.
While other Palestinian terrorist groups have kidnapped foreigners from the US and Europe, including members of the news media, this is the longest any have been kept in captivity.
Ramattan News Agency claims the men are safe and that the Holy Jihad Brigades had demanded that Muslim prisoners in US jails be released within three days in exchange for Centanni and Wiig. The group did not say what would happen if the deadline passed unanswered, Ramattan reported.
In the video, Centanni and Wiig appeared unharmed and, according to PA police.
Centanni and Wiig appear in the video aired by Fox sitting on the floor. The journalists say in the video footage that they are in good hands and appealed to the US government for response to their kidnappers’ demands.
Past terrorist abduction incidents follow a clear pattern: Militants boast of their success within hours, followed by demands for jobs or freedom for jailed relatives, then brief negotiations and finally the release of those abducted, often the same day.
Upon release, during the abductees debriefing they tell Similar stories of being served tea and robust meals of rice and meat, passing the time watching TV, or chatting with the terrorists.
But this case of abduction has not followed the usual pattern. Until Wednesday, no group had claimed they perpetrated the kidnapping, and the whereabouts of the Fox News journalists remained a mystery despite emotional appeals from family members.
Palestinian government officials, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, have called for the release of Centanni and Wiig.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.