Iraq: July 27, 2004


The Egyptian diplomat kidnapped on the 23rd was freed. The kidnappers said they released the Egyptian because he was a religious man (he was seized while leaving a mosque) and that no ransom was accepted (which usually means there was a ransom). The kidnappers also demanded that Egypt not send troops to Iraq, to help train police and crack down on the crime. Egypt quickly agreed to the kidnappers demand. The Egyptian diplomat was a bit of a hot potato for the kidnappers, as he was a high profile prisoner that the government was energetically looking for. The kidnappers could not kill the Egyptian, if only because he's a diplomat, a Moslem and was kidnapped outside a mosque. Meanwhile, kidnapping Iraqis for ransom continues to be big business, and hardly gets noticed by the international press. Kidnapping for foreigners makes the headlines, but changes little inside Iraq. The foreign workers continue to come, willing to risk kidnapping and murder for a high paying job. Iraqi kidnappers have become public enemy number one, and the prime target of increased police anti-crime efforts. 


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