Apparently still alive
Could the whole thing be a fundraising scheme?
Beverly Giesebrecht, known as Khadija Abdul Qahaar, ran a pro-Jihadi Web site. She was captured in November extremist by Pakistani Muslim extremists.
The September 11 terror attacks were a watershed event in the life of a Canadian journalist named Beverly Giesebrecht.
Soon after Al Qaeda terrorists killed 3,000 people in the U.S., Giesebrecht converted to Islam, adopted a new name “” Khadija Abdul Qahaar “” and spent the next two years studying the Koran in Egypt.
She created a pro-Jihadi Web site, Jihad Unspun, and she developed a network of contacts, contributors and translators, some of whom introduced her to the Taliban in Pakistan.
She wrote of her motivations online:
“I became obsessed with finding out what was really going on. In the early days of my research, I remember sitting at five in the morning, exhausted, after going from link to link to link to link, staring at the face of Osama bin Laden. This man does not have the face of a cold-blooded killer. This is not a Charles Manson. There has to be something more.
“I made the decision to launch a Web site with the hope of informing the public about some of the things I had come to know and to give voice to the other side of war on ‘terrorism.’
“There was no question in my mind, from the first days of my research, that the so-called war on ‘terrorism’ was a sham. This is not a war on ‘terrorism’ “” this is a war against Muslims and our resources.
“It is my hope that this will inspire others to Islam and to take a stand against this shameful war on ‘terrorism.'”…
And then last November, the Taliban, the group she had befriended, kidnapped her while she was chasing a story in the Bannu region of northern Pakistan. In a video released after her capture, Qahaar says she’s being held by the Taliban, though it’s not clear exactly who is holding her. Officials have not provided clarification, saying only that there are many criminal gangs in the region who call themselves the Taliban.
Now, four and a half months later, 11th-hour negotiations continue in efforts to save Qahaar’s life and secure her release. Her captors have demanded $375,000 in ransom money by the end of March, and they have threatened to kill her if their demand isn’t met.
Exactly what happened in November, and why, remains unclear. That the Taliban has kidnapped one of its own supporters “” and one who has given them a media platform “” is puzzling to terror experts and Qahaar’s former colleagues.
“She is definitely sympathetic to Al Qaeda, to the Taliban, there’s no doubt about it “” and she believes in jihad,” said terror expert Steven Emerson, who has followed Qahaar’s Web site. “I think “” and this is just based on logic and rationale “” it just doesn’t make sense that they would threaten to kill her unless they get money, when she’s been such use to them spreading their word in the Western world.”
Phil Rees, a BBC reporter-turned-documentary filmmaker, met Qahaar in Kuala Lumpur in 2006 and hired her for nine weeks to work on “Dining with Terrorists.”
“I hired her for her Taliban contacts. She was a good source for contacts from the jihad side of things. She delivered,” Rees said.
After three months in Pakistan and a 10-day shoot in Lebanon, Qahaar told Rees she wanted to move back to Pakistan to pursue her Taliban contacts and the greater story.
“I remember, she told me about how she wanted to live there. Why? Because it’s a hot story! It’s the absolutely most central story on the global terrorism end,” Rees said.
“She was desperate to forge a career as a journalist and she had very exclusive access “” I think that’s what she saw, that she could cut into mainstream journalism by doing this “” and hell, well, if you could get Usama, you’ve made it for life.”
“She was translating the words of Taliban and Al Qaeda “” she was my insurance policy,” he said. “Why would they kidnap her? I never thought they would kidnap her.”…
Curiouser and curiouser.