11-16-2004, 04:04 PM #1
This just goes beyond comprehension
By MARIAM FAM, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Margaret Hassan, a kidnapped aid worker who spent decades bringing food and medicine to Iraqis, was believed murdered after Al-Jazeera television said Tuesday it received a video showing a hooded militant shooting a blindfolded woman in the head.
Hassan's family in London said the longtime director of CARE in Iraq (news - web sites) was likely the victim, and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said analysis of the video showed Hassan has "probably been murdered, although we cannot conclude this with complete certainty."
CARE said it was in mourning for the 59-year-old Briton, a veteran humanitarian worker known around the Mideast for her concern for Iraqis — particularly during the years of U.N. sanctions, whose effects on children she vocally denounced.
"To kidnap and kill anyone is inexcusable," Straw said. "But it is repugnant to commit such a crime against a woman who has spent most of her life working for the good of the people of Iraq."
In an emotional appeal on Al-Jazeera, Hassan's Iraqi husband, Tahseen Ali Hassan, said he had heard of the video but did not know whether it was authentic.
"I appeal to those who took my wife (to tell me) what they did with her. ... I want my wife, dead or alive. If she is dead, please let me know of her whereabouts so I can bury her in peace," he said, his voice choked with tears.
Hassan would be the first foreign female hostage killed in Iraq's wave of kidnappings. More than 170 foreigners have been abducted this year, and at least 34 killed. One woman — a Polish-Iraqi citizen — remains captive.
The video shows a hooded militant firing a pistol into the head of a blindfolded woman wearing an orange jumpsuit, said Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout. The station received the tape a few days ago but had not been sure of its authenticity until recently, he said.
"We invited British diplomatic officials to come and view it," he told The Associated Press. "It's now likely that the image depicts Mrs. Hassan."
Ballout said the station would not air the video and would not broadcast any acts of killing, outside war. Al-Jazeera has been under pressure not to show videos of kidnapped foreigners.
Hassan was abducted in Baghdad on Oct. 19 on her way to work, the most prominent of more than 170 foreigners kidnapped in Iraq this year. Her captors issued a series of videos showing her weeping and pleading for Britons to act to save her. In one video, she fainted and a bucket of water was thrown on her to revive her.
In one video, she begged British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) to withdraw troops from Iraq and calling for the release of female Iraqi prisoners.
On Sunday, U.S. Marines found the mutilated body of what they believe was a Western woman on a street in a Fallujah during the U.S. assault on the insurgent stronghold. Officials have not said if the body has been identified.
Besides Hassan, the only Western woman known to be held was Teresa Borcz Khalifa, 54, a Polish-born longtime resident of Iraq seized last month.
A Blair spokesman said the prime minister "sends his sympathy to the family of Margaret Hassan and shares their abhorrence at the cruel treatment of someone who devoted so many years of their life to helping the people of Iraq."
CARE said it was "with profound sadness" that it learned of the video. "The whole of CARE is in mourning," said the group, which closed its Iraq operations after the kidnapping.
Hassan's four brothers and sisters also said they believe she is dead, although their statement did not mention the video.
"Our hearts are broken," they said in a statement released by the British Foreign Office. "We have kept hoping for as long as we could, but we now have to accept that Margaret has probably gone and at last her suffering has ended."
The family said, "Those who are guilty of this atrocious act, and those who support them, have no excuses."
Al-Jazeera reported on Nov. 2 that Hassan's captors threatened to turn her over to followers of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Three days later, al-Zarqawi's al-Qaida in Iraq group called for Hassan's release and promised to free her if she fell into their hands, according to a message posted on a Web site known for publishing messages from Islamic militant groups.
Al-Zarqawi and his men have been blamed for numerous deadly car bombings and the slayings of foreign hostages, including three Americans and a Briton.
Born in Ireland, Hassan also held British and Iraqi citizenship. She met her husband at the university and moved with him to Baghdad. Friends said she converted to Islam. Before the war, Hassan mostly worked on projects to provide clean water and improve education, said Carel de Rooy, a UNICEF representative who once worked with her there. Hassan was an outspoken opponent of the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
11-16-2004, 04:28 PM #2
I really dont know how a human being could do such a thing, even the brutal people who behead humans refused to take her and kill her.
Al Zarqawi's group called for her release and said they would release her if she fell into their hands.
Not only did they kill a civilian, they killed a helper of the poor, they killed a true helper of the Iraqi people, they killed a women, they killed a muslim, and a convert to Islam.
Whoever did it, will be going to Hell, for sure.
11-16-2004, 05:20 PM #3
Agreed. Honestly, I understand *why* 'insurgents' and even legit cold and calculating terrorists act in the manner they do by and large. I understand WHY to some degree, but I don't agree with it. In this instance, however, I can't even start to wrap my mind around the WHY. She literally dedicated her life to the Iraqi people. Even on a pure cost/benefit level, this has got to hinder whatever cause they may have had (though I suspect they don't even have a cause other than bloodletting, as no group has yet claimed responsibility).
At least it was refreshing to see several Iraqis out protesting her death openly in the streets.
11-16-2004, 05:36 PM #4
It's similar to the Christian missionary docs that die a martyrs death in spite of helping the people. The difference is there is no oil in the area so the US military could care less.
You never hear squat about all the Christians devoting their lives to good that are being killed left and right.
Of course they follow the teachings of Jesus and don't try to slaughter their enemies.
11-16-2004, 05:47 PM #5Retired Vet
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Although the report says she's a Brit, and qoutes Brit Government sources she's Irish. And the second Irish hostage to be murdered there. And I'll thank CAUSASIAN and the other Muslims here for their condemnation of Iraqi beheadings, I qouted you guys to a friend in a heated discussion regarding her murder tonight.
I don't believe for a second that these animals represent Islam no more than the murderous bastards who attacked the WTC, Bali, Madrid and the contempable cu*ts who explode themselves on Israeli bus's, in shopping malls, fruit markets etc, etc, etc..
With hindsight I got this one slightly wrong. Doesn't ZOAIB believe its ok for a Palestinian (muslims) to strap on a bomb and ''take out as many Israeli's in their path''! I wonder ZOAIB if you feel its justified for an Iraqi who feels aggrieved to behead as many western's in their path too?.
11-16-2004, 05:49 PM #6
These people have beheaded more muslims than non-muslims. They dont care about religion. The have beheaded dozens of Iraqis, Kurds, and Turks.
They just want to instill terror, no matter who it is.
11-16-2004, 07:12 PM #7
Man what a f***ing waste, this is the thanks she gets for devoting her life to help others less fortunate. May her soul rest in peace.
11-16-2004, 07:19 PM #8AR-Hall of Famer / Retired
Originally Posted by CAUSASIAN
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