Nihad Awad and other members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) arrive in Baghdad to plead for reporter Jill Carroll’s release and two Marines are reported slain in a suicide attack in yet another day of kidnappings, violence and mayhem in Iraq. From the Los Angeles Times:
BAGHDAD “” On a day that members of a U.S. Islamic group arrived in Baghdad to plead for the release of a kidnapped reporter, the U.S. military announced that two Marines were killed by a suicide car bomber while on a combat mission near Ramadi, a hotbed of insurgent violence…
Meanwhile, executive director Nihad Awad of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in an interview Saturday that any harm done to Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, “would harm the Iraqi people and the Iraqi cause.” Carroll was abducted Jan. 7 while on assignment in Baghdad.
A videotape of the 28-year-old reporter was released by her captors Tuesday along with a warning that she would be killed unless all women held in Iraqi jails were released within 72 hours. The deadline passed Friday evening with no further word on Carroll’s whereabouts or fate.
The Iraqi Justice Ministry on Saturday reiterated its request that the U.S. military release six female detainees. But U.S. military spokespeople said that no such release was forthcoming and that there would be no negotiations with the kidnappers.
“The kidnapping of Jill Carroll does not benefit the kidnappers,” said Awad, whose Washington-based group represents U.S. mosques and Islamic associations. “If she is released she will continue to talk about Iraqi issues, and, as people have noted, she has been friendly and respectful of the Iraqi people, not an enemy.”
Public pleas on her behalf by her family and others have mentioned Carroll’s sympathy for and knowledge of Iraq.
“Do not sacrifice an innocent soul,” her father, Jim Carroll, said in a statement released Friday. “Allow her to be your voice to the world. Her life as a reporter would better serve your purpose than her death.”
Carroll was one of many people kidnapped in Iraq in recent days.
On Saturday, the son of a senior Defense Ministry official was reported kidnapped by the so-called Revenge Squadron group, which threatened to kill him unless Iraqi security forces stopped cooperating with American forces, according to Al Arabiya television.
In another case, a police source said that the bodies of 10 of 35 police recruits abducted Monday had been found and that several more reportedly had been found in a remote desert area to the northeast. Police are “assembling a force” to investigate, said the source in Mashahidah, about 15 miles north of Baghdad…
Two African telephone engineers were kidnapped last week after their convoy was attacked in a daylight ambush on a busy Baghdad street. Twelve security guards and bystanders were killed in the attack. The families of the engineers also issued pleas for mercy Friday.
On Saturday, a car bomb exploded in a crowded Baghdad market, killing one, and a roadside bomb went off near a motorcade carrying members of President Jalal Talabani’s staff north of Baghdad. The president was not riding in the motorcade, but five passengers were hurt.