al Hilaly, Australia’s chief Muslim cleric, who postponed his own heart surgery to dash off to Iraq in an attempt to secure the release of Douglas Wood, an Australian held hostage by Iraqi insurgents, has dropped out of sight on advice - he has gone into hiding as he has warned that he may be targeted for kidnapping too.
The potential culprits have been described as pro-American gangs, or gangs the US-led occupying forces turned a blind eye to - the old story of a cosy arrangement of 'you scratch my back, and I'll scratch your back'.
All these sinister intrigues set me thinking whether the tragic case of Margaret Hassan, kidnapped and undoubtedly murdered by now, could be attributed to these ‘pro-American’ gangs.
I recall that, when Margaret Hassan was kidnapped, insurgent groups in Iraq swore that they did not touch her - a believable claim as Margaret was probably the most loved person in Iraq. In fact, the leading insurgent leader al Zarqawi had personally called for her release.
Some western journalists such as the renowned Middle-East correspondent Robert Fisk had alluded to Margaret Hassan’s kidnapping as a possible result of mischievous plotting, but not by the insurgents. Kurt Nimmo, an American journalist-photographer mentioned the same suspicion.
I blogged on Margaret Hassan’s kidnapping a second time on 25 October 2004 over at BolehTalk in a posting titled Idiots in Iraq, Machiavellians in London (2)! (unfortunately, this link takes you to a full week’s worth of postings – you have to scroll down the page to get to the post)
What is patently clear that not all kidnappings had been done by the insurgents. al Hilaly has been wise to duck out of public prominence.