In the early years of Jihad Watch I linked to Jihad Unspun several times to illustrate jihadist perspectives on various matters. The site’s founder, Khadija Abdul Qahaar, the former Beverly Giesbrecht, was a Canadian convert to Islam who, you guessed it, misunderstood her peaceful religion. And despite her open Islamic supremacism and agitation on behalf of the global jihad, jihadists in Pakistan still kidnapped her and threatened to behead her.
Now she is apparently dead, in Taliban captivity. Whether or not she was murdered, she was clearly a victim of the murderous ideology to which she attached herself and did all she could to encourage.
“WV freelancer may be dead: Illness reportedly kills Taliban captive,” by Jane Seyd for North Shore News, November 5:
AN Indian newspaper is reporting that a West Vancouver woman held captive by the Taliban in Pakistan has died.
The Indian Express posted an unconfirmed report that Khadija Abdul Qahaar — formerly known as Beverly Giesbrecht before she converted to Islam — had “died following prolonged illness in the custody of the Taliban somewhere in northwest Pakistan or Afghanistan.”
The newspaper cited unnamed sources as providing the information and did not say when Qahaar is believed to have died. Qahaar was in her late 50s.
Lisa Monette, spokeswoman for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, did not confirm or deny reports of Qahaar’s death, saying the department was aware of recent media reports about Qahaar and adding, “We continue to pursue all appropriate channels in seeking information with regard to Ms. Giesbrecht.”
Qahaar — who operated a website called Jihad Unspun, sympathetic to the Taliban and who was described by some as a freelance journalist — was kidnapped along with her translator and driver while travelling in a dangerous area of northern Pakistan in November 2008.
Both the driver and translator were later released after about eight months.
The driver said after his release that Qahaar had been suffering from hepatitis, according to the Indian Express report.
Qahaar’s friend Glen Cooper worried last year that Qahaar would not survive her captivity. “My fear is that her health will give way,” he told the North Shore News at the time.
Cooper, who Qahaar stayed with prior to leaving for Pakistan, had last spoken to her by phone in July of 2009, when she had already developed serious health problems.
Kidnappers had demanded a ransom for Qahaar’s release. But Cooper said last year the government had made it clear they wouldn’t pay a ransom.
Two videos of Qahaar were released by her kidnappers in the spring of 2009. One showed her flanked on either side by masked gunmen armed with assault rifles. A second video surfaced in March in which Qahaar had a dagger mounted behind her.
But little has been heard of her fate in more than a year.
Qahaar had a complicated life before embarking on the journey that would end with her kidnapping in Pakistan. According to posts on her own website, she worked in website development and doing sales for some mainstream media publications for a number of years.
During the 1980s Geisbrecht was a hard-driving sales manager, who drank, smoked and was relentless in all aspects of her life. Later, as a recovering alcoholic, Geisbrecht turned to fundamentalist Christianity. But after 9/11 Qahaar surprised those who knew her by converting to Islam and starting up Jihad Unspun.