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August 25, 2006

Centanni-Wiig Kidnappers: What Do They Want? Competing Theories

Topics: Middle East News and Perspectives

steve-centanni_congress-id-hostage-gaza.jpgMary Katharine Ham has a good recap on the theories so far, which should be read in order to have a perspective for the competing theories.

The latest information comes from the Jerusalem Post (via Hot Air and MKH) which cites an Asia Times report of a possible Hezbollah and al-Qaeda operation (info from an Iranian intelligence official). Palestinian "security" sources and Hamas officials corroborated the Asia Time's report with a significant new detail:

Another top Hamas activist told the Post that his movement's investigations have shown that the two journalists were initially kidnapped by members of one of the PA's security forces. "The kidnappers, who wanted to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to pay them their salaries, later handed the two over to Fatah gunmen," he said. "They are now being held in one of the refugee camps near Gaza City."
wiigpass.jpgCould the operation have been initiated as described in the JP report without a Hezbollah/al-Qaeda connection, and subsequently, after the journalists became a hot commodity, taken over by Hezbollah/alQaeda splinter groups - in effect, sold (end result - PA security forces get their money, H/aQ get the hostages for the visibility they've been seeking)? Or was the kidnapping a straight al-Qaeda or Hezbollah/al-Qaeda operation to begin with?

Still, not enough concrete information, just bits and pieces. However, I'm still going on the premise that it's al-Qaeda 3.0 (al-Zarqawi - inspired) at this point, especially after Rusty's revelations yesterday, and that either way, the outcome doesn't look good. On the other hand, let's remain hopeful - hopeful that we're not looking at al-Qaeda 3.0 and instead, we're looking at hungry PA security forces.

Michelle Malkin has "Let them come home."

Update: Rusty Shackleford notes the good news - bad news, and remains hopeful - but skeptical.

Related: Be sure to read here, here, here, and here, to get all caught up.

Posted by Richard at August 25, 2006 8:02 AM

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