Kidnapped reporter said to be OK
Updated: 2006-02-28 08:56
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi Interior Minister believes that kidnapped American
journalist Jill Carroll remains alive, his office said on Monday, one day after
the deadline set by her captors for killing her.
Jill Carroll is shown in this Sept. 5, 2005, file photo provided by the
Christian Science Monitor. Iraqi police said they had found no trace of
abducted American journalist, who has been held hostage in Iraq since Jan.
7, as the deadline set by her kidnappers for killing her passed at
midnight Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006, with no word on her fate.
In an interview with ABC, the interior minister, Bayan Jabr said he knew who
abducted the 28-year-old freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor on
"We know his name and address, and we are following up on him as well as the
Americans," Jabr told ABC. "I think she is still alive."
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told Fox television he had heard the same
news from Jabr.
"He said that based on the information that he has, that she is alive,"
Khalilzad said. "We are doing all that we can to help bring about a release and
will persist with that. But the minister announced today that he's optimistic
about her release."
Carroll was last seen in a videotape broadcast Feb. 9 by the private Kuwaiti
television station Al-Rai.
Station owner Jassem Boudai said then that the kidnappers had set Feb. 26 as
the deadline for U.S. and Iraqi authorities to meet their demands or they would
The kidnappers, a formerly unknown group calling themselves the Revenge
Brigades, have publicly demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq, but
Boudai indicated the group provided more specific conditions that he refused to
On Sunday, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said an extensive search was
under way for Carroll.
"Our forces raided some suspected places, but she was not there," Maj. Falah
al-Mohammedawi said. "We are watching the situation closely."
Iraqi television has aired three videos of Carroll since her kidnapping. In
the first, shown on Al-Jazeera on Jan. 17, her abductors threatened to kill her
unless the United States freed female prisoners in Iraq.
The first and second videos were broadcast without sound. In the second,
aired on Al-Jazeera, the broadcaster said Carroll asked for the release of the
Also Monday, the U.S. military announced in a statement it had released about
390 male detainees.
A review committee consisting of U.S. and Iraqi officials from the ministries
of human rights, justice and interior, recommended the prisoners be released
after finding no reason for their continued imprisonment.
The Combined Review and Release Board has reviewed the cases of more than
29,500 detainees at coalition facilities, including Abu Ghraib in Baghdad, Camp
Bucca near the southern port of Umm Qasr and Fort Suse in the northern
Sulaimaniyah area. More than 15,300 have been recommended for release, the