Media Blog

Kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston shown wearing suicide belt

A new video recording released today shows kidnapped British journalist Alan Johnston wearing an apparent explosives belt of the type suicide bombers use and warning it will be detonated if an attempt is made to free him by force.

The one-minute-42-second tape, called “Alan’s Appeal,” was posted on an Islamic website. The video can be seen by clicking on the right hand side of this page.
Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza on March 12. His plight has generated an extraordinary amount of media attention. (For more background, see here.)
By contrast the plight of the young Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped from Israeli soil in an unprovoked act in the middle of the night in what much of the media continues to refer to as a “ceasefire” by Hamas, has not generated nearly as much publicity.
Today marks the first anniversary of Shalit’s kidnap. He is 20 years old, and like Johnston is being held in Gaza.
One wishes for the safe release of both these and all other innocent kidnap victims as soon as possible.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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