“The ludicrous thing really is that they’ve captured four people…who are their best friends in the West”
The BBC’s John Simpson speaks the truth about the Iraqi collaborator hostages: they’re the jihadists’ “best friends.”
“Iraq withdrawal urged by hostage,” from the BBC, with thanks to Paul:
New video footage has emerged in which British hostage Norman Kember calls for UK troops to be pulled out of Iraq.
“I ask Mr Blair to… leave the Iraqi people to come to their own decisions on their government,” says Mr Kember, 74, and from Pinner, London.
The peace activist and three other Westerners seized in Baghdad last month were shown in handcuffs and shackles.
The kidnappers have threatened to kill them if Iraqi detainees in the country are not freed by Thursday.
Mr Kember, who had travelled to Iraq with international peace group, the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), was kidnapped in Baghdad on 26 November.
He is being held with Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and American Tom Fox, 54.
A group calling itself the Swords of Truth said it had taken the hostages and accused them of spying for foreign forces in Iraq.
Fellow hostage Mr Fox is also heard to speak on the video, a shorter version of which emerged last week.
He says: “As a representative of Christian Peacemaker Teams, we feel that continued American and British occupation is not in the best interest of the Iraqi people.”
BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson said Mr Kember had appeared to reflect his own opinions in the video as he was “very much critical” of the British and US presence in the country.
“The ludicrous thing really is that they’ve captured four people, of whom he’s one, who are their best friends in the West,” he said of the kidnappers.