First Published: 2006-03-31

 
Carroll: Iraqi mujahideen will win in the end
 

Freed US hostage says mujahideen are more clever and better than all the people US army has in Iraq.

 

Middle East Online

By Jay Deshmukh - BAGHDAD

Freed US hostage praises Iraqi insurgents

US authorities guarded freed hostage Jill Carroll in Iraq on Friday after insurgents released her from nearly three months of captivity and posted a video on the Internet showing her praising them.

The Americans refused to say when the 28-year-old freelance journalist would go home to the United States.

Meanwhile, Iraqi leaders on Friday announced they were to meet later in the day to discuss forming a new government, ending a two-day suspension in the three-month-old struggle to reach agreement.

In a late Thursday video footage, whose authenticity could not be verified, Carroll in an interview with her kidnappers before her release was seen praising Iraq's insurgents and even predicted their victory over the coalition forces.

"I think the mujahideen are very smart and even with all the technology and all the people that the American army has here, they still are better at knowing how to live and work here, more clever," Carroll said in answer to a question posed by one of her kidnappers.

Asked what she meant, Carroll, who was snatched from a Baghdad street on January 7, answered: "It makes very clear that the mujahideen are the ones that will win in the end."

The video showed her dressed in the same baggy clothes she was seen wearing after her release.

The interviewer then asked Carroll if she had a message for US President George W. Bush.

She smiled before saying: "He needs to stop this war. He knows this war is wrong ... He needs to finally admit that to the American people and make the troops go home."

Carroll then said she felt guilty being set free while many women remained imprisoned at Baghdad's US-run Abu Ghraib prison.

"It shows the difference between the mujahedeen and the Americans, it shows the mujahedeen are good people fighting an honourable fight while the Americans are here as an occupying force treating the people in a very bad way," she said.

On Thursday afternoon, Carroll, who worked mainly for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, was dropped off near the office of the Iraqi Islamic Party.

"I am happy to be free. I just want to be with my family quickly," a composed Carroll, wearing a headscarf, told Baghdad Television, run by the Islamic Party.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters that "no US person had made arrangement with kidnappers" for her release. He added that none of the kidnappers was in custody yet.

Also on Thursday, Syrian journalist Ziad al-Monjed and his Iraqi companion Walid al-Zoubaidi, who had been kidnapped on Tuesday west of Baghdad, were freed for a 50,000 dollar ransom, a security source said.

On the political front, Iraqi parliamentarians were set to meet at the president's house on Friday.

"We have been called by the president's office for a meeting today," said Kurdish parliamentarian Mahmud Othman.

Sunni parliamentarian Saleh al-Mutlak also confirmed that the president's office had called for a meeting at 3 pm (1200 GMT).

Iraqi leaders had suspended the talks since Wednesday after a dispute between the dominant Shiites and the minority Sunnis over who should oversee the country's security portfolio.

Efforts to form a government have dragged on after the December general election in arguments over cabinet posts and rejection by the Kurds and Sunnis of incumbent Shiite Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's candidacy as the next premier.

"There are still big decisions to be made," said Robert Ford, political secretary at the US embassy in Iraq.

"They still have to finalise the choice of prime minister, his deputies, president and his deputies as well as cabinet ministers."

On Thursday, Jaafari expressed confidence that the government would be formed in April "despite the delays in political talks."

Jaafari also warned the United States to stop meddling in the political process in an interview with The New York Times.

Jaafari appeared to be referring to concerns that US officials were actively lobbying to replace him with a candidate who might be able to draw more support from Kurdish and Sunni leaders, who are dissatisfied with Jaafari's tenur

 

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

Senior Saudi prince blasts Trump's "opportunistic" Jerusalem move

Kuwait ruler’s son named defence minister

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Somali journalist killed in front of children

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel

Jordan referred to UN for failing to arrest Sudanese president

Turkey demands life for journalists in coup bid trial

Netanyahu expects EU to follow suit on Jerusalem

Putin orders withdrawal of ‘significant’ amount of troops from Syria

Putin to meet with Sisi in Cairo

GCC at a critical juncture

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS