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Jill Carroll: Former Islamic militant calls for her release

Also, Jim Carroll renews plea for daughter's release.

By World editor / January 24, 2006



Late Sunday evening (Monday morning in Iraq), Jill Carroll's father, Jim, made another plea for his daughter's release. In a brief interview on CNN, which was later broadcast on Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite television station, Mr. Carroll said, in part, "When you release her alive, she will tell your story with the same conviction. Alive my daughter will not be silenced.

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"As you know by now, my daughter is honest, sincere, and of good heart. Her respect for the Iraqi people has been shown through her words as a reporter.

"Jill started to tell your story; please allow her to finish it. Through the media, if necessary, advise her family and me how to initiate a dialogue which will lead to her release."

Asked if there is any hopeful news, Carroll replied, "We've been encouraged by the outpouring of messages from Jill's family and friends from around the world, who've lent their support and their prayers.... It's been very heartening. We've drawn strength from that. And we want to thank them for that."

On Monday, Egyptian lawyer Montasser al-Zayat added his voice to those calling for Ms. Carroll's release.

"I'm concerned as to what extent the resistance factions - who are kidnapping journalists and media workers [in Iraq] - are following the guidelines of religion. The resistance, which has the right to fight the occupation and target its symbols and spies, must also be sure of the facts on the ground.

"If the reporter has been in the hands of the Iraqi resistance for nearly two weeks now, then this means she has been interrogated carefully, and the truth should have been revealed by now to the kidnappers.

"I'm asking the kidnappers to release her so that it would be a clear message to the whole world - a message of a just cause and the ability to achieve justice even under the most difficult circumstances, where the Iraqi people and the resistance movements are facing the tyranny of the occupier."

A former member of the Egyptian militant group Gamaa al Islamiya (Islamic Group), Mr. Zayat is the author of the definitive biography of Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's No. 2, and he has represented Islamists in court.

The Associated Press reported that another hostage, Jordanian Embassy driver Mahmoud Suleiman Saidat, appeared in footage aired on Al Arabiya TV pleading for his life. He was kidnapped on Dec. 20.

To add your message of support for Jill Carroll and the other hostages in Iraq, go here.

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