Marines Capture Jill Carroll’s Abductors

Jill CarrollMarines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 and 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment have captured Jill Carroll’s abductors:

Marines—By Cpl. Mark Sixbey, 1st Marine Division

Editor’s note: Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 captured three insurgents responsible for the kidnapping and detention of Jill Carroll, an American journalist for the Christian Science Monitor, May 19. Intelligence gleaned from that raid led to the capture of one more, by Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. This story was written shortly after, but held due to intelligence value. Jill Carroll since announced she will detail her captivity in an 11-part series. Only now can the story of those who captured her kidnappers be told.

Jill Carroll’s kidnappers are now themselves locked up.

Marines captured four members of an insurgent kidnapping cell responsible for the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor.

Marines of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment captured and detained three members May 19, in a small village west of Fallujah. A fourth member of the same kidnapping cell was detained later by Marines of 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment.

Both battalions operated as part of Regimental Combat Team 5.

Carroll was held hostage by insurgent captors for 82 days between January and March 2006.

“A piece of intelligence came to our attention a month prior to May that the kidnap house might be in a certain area,” said 2nd Lt. J. H. Cusack, Scout-Sniper Platoon Commander, Headquarters and Support Company.

But the information wasn’t enough for Marines to act upon. They needed more. One month went by before another clue gave them the green light.

“We went out west of Fallujah and went off key indicators and identified some specific things that led us to believe this was the place,” Cusack explained. “Based on what we’d seen, we knew we had a small window of time to get this guy.”

The next morning, Cusack rode with L Company’s personnel security detachment to return to search the house.

They met enemy resistance on the way to the house. Two improvised explosive devices detonated near the convoy.

“The lead vehicle got hit twice,” said Cpl. Estafanos Getahun, a scout-sniper with L Company PSD. “Getting there was more interesting than getting to the hit. It was beginning to look like a hard hit.”

Sgt. Jeff Bell, a platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarters Platoon, Company L, said he didn’t know the mission would make headlines when they made it to the house.

“Once I set foot in the front door, I was told what was actually going on in the house,” said the 27-year-old from Littleton, Colo.

Marines didn’t go in guns blazing. They talked the owner into allowing them into the house. Once inside, they began to match key descriptions of the house given by Carroll to the residence. It became clear; they were on target.

Marines gathered the family into one room while Marines searched the remaining rooms for evidence of Carroll’s detention. Every corner, every drawer, every shelf was searched.

“We methodically went room-to-room and searched the cupboards, pulled everything out,” Bell said. “If it was there, it got searched.”

Inside, they found a number of items that confirmed the identities of the insurgents, including incriminating documents and $3,600 in American paper currency. Descriptions of the house given by Carroll were a dead match for the home.

Marines had what they needed to take the three into custody. Still, they lingered. The three weren’t exhibiting any outward signs of nervousness, and Marines took a few minutes while several from their team were fixing the IED-damaged humvee.

“We were still fixing a flat tire from the IED,” Cusack said. “As soon as it was fixed we put everything together.”

“While the Marines were fixing it, people thought it was a normal thing they were doing,” said Getahun, 27, from Las Vegas. “It gave them some peace, because they thought it was a different thing. Then they arrested them.”

“As we were leaving, we said, ‘You’re coming with us,’” Cusack said.

Marines didn’t realize until a couple weeks later the significance of their seizure of the kidnappers. They took in those responsible for targeting an American for kidnapping and also found out that they were key members of a cell responsible for local attacks against Marines.

“A couple weeks later on we heard they were connected to some cells that were setting IEDs and firing rockets in the area,” Getahun said. “It did help us secure the route to Habbaniyah.”

“It’s a pretty good feeling knowing you got the guys who did such a horrible thing,” Bell said. “Hopefully it keeps that particular cell from repeating the kidnappings. Hopefully we can kind of quell that with this huge cell getting taken down and the other guys take note of that, knowing there’s nowhere to hide.”

Cusack said although the Darkhorse battalion arrested numerous insurgents during their seven months in Iraq, this raid held special meaning.

“We detained lots of bad guys over here, lots of kidnappers,” he said. “But this one connects with an American, someone people back home knew about. That makes it satisfying to have that direct connection to something people can relate to.”

Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment have since redeployed to the United States, finishing a seven-month deployment to Iraq.

Great job guys!

Cross-posted at the Jawa Report

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Jill Carroll Speaks Out—Freely

Jill Carroll is speaking out about her ordeal and the propaganda video that terrorists forced her to participate in.

Notable quotes:

“During my last night in captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video. They told me I would be released if I cooperated. I was living in a threatening environment, under their control, and wanted to go home alive. So I agreed.”

“At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely. Out of fear, I said I wasn’t threatened. In fact, I was threatened many times,” she said. “Also, at least two false statements about me have been widely aired: One – that I refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military, and two – that I refused to discuss my captivity with U.S. officials. Again, neither statement is true.”

“I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage. I remain as committed as ever to fairness and accuracy – to discovering the truth – and so I will not engage in polemics. But let me be clear: I abhor all who kidnap and murder civilians, and my captors are clearly guilty of both crimes.”

Once again, I want to say God bless you Jill, I’m glad you’re coming home. Your sweet smile is an answer to many prayers.

I also want to thank Dr. Shackleford at the Jawa Report for asking us (the blogosphere) to withhold judgement of Jill and “show some class,” and for helping keep Jill’s story alive until she came home.

Good night all and God bless.

Source: Forbes

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The Jawa Report: Jill Carroll Says Video Interviews Taken Under Duress

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Jill Carroll: Buggin?

Jill Carroll is buggin; that’s what many people are thinking. Her post-release remarks certainly aren’t what you’d think a just-freed hostage would say. Or are they?

Dr. Shackleford at the Jawa Report is urging the blogosphere to withhold judgement of her and “show some class”:

The Jawa Report—After devoting considerable time to the subject I’ve become a bit more sympathetic to the plight of hostages. Whether or not she was anti-American to begin with is irrelevant since she was a civilian operating in a war-zone. Her political views do not change the fact that her captors are savages operating outside the laws of war. I think we should give people the benefit of the doubt, especially when they are victims.

A lot of really slutty chicks get raped, but there’s no reason to bring up that fact right after they’ve been victimized.

Once she’s home if she starts acting like Giuliana Sgrena we’ll call her on it. Until then, my advice to the blogosphere is to have some class. …

Good advice Rusty, thanks.

Jill, glad you’re coming home sweetheart. God bless you.

Related Stories:

The Jawa Report: Blaming the Rape Victim: Jill Carroll


Washington Post: Questions About Jill Carroll’s Captivity * Excellent story *

Update (3/31/2006 2:39pm):

AP is reporting that Jill Carroll was warned before her release:

Seattlepi—Jill Carroll’s kidnappers reportedly warned her before her release that she might be killed if she cooperated with the Americans or went to the Green Zone, saying it was infiltrated by insurgents. …

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Jill Carroll Released

Journalist Jill Carroll released in Iraq:

CBS11TV—Kidnapped U.S. reporter Jill Carroll has been released after nearly three months in captivity, Iraq police and the leader of the Islamic Party said Thursday. Her editor said she was in good condition.

“She was released this morning, she’s talked to her father and she’s fine,” said David Cook, a Christian Science Monitor editor in Washington. …

The Jawa Report has a good article this morning about Jill Carroll’s kidnapping and release:

Jawa Report—Jill Carroll had been held hostage for nearly three months by a terrorist organization calling itself ‘The Revenge Brigades’. The group killed her translator, but Carroll’s driver escapted. The group had demanded the release of all female Iraqi prisoners or they would execute Carroll, but let several deadlines pass & it was never clear just how serious the threats were. …


Related Stories Jill Carroll Speaks Out—Freely Jill Carroll Buggin? Jill Carroll’s Last Hostage Video Released Jill Carroll Updates

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New Video Of Jill Carroll Released

A new video has been released of Jill Carroll.

Jill Carroll
Jill Carroll

In the video, Jill says, “I am with the mujahadeen. I sent you a letter written by my hand, but you wanted more evidence, so we are sending you this letter now to prove I am with the mujahadeen. I’m here, I’m fine. Please just do whatever they want. Give them whatever they want as quickly as possible. There is very short time, please do it fast. That’s all.”

Jill Carroll certainly doesn’t appear to be a woman in fear for her life in this new video, not at all. Check it out and see for yourself.

CBS4: New Video Of Kidnapped Journalist Airs

A better CBS video is here

Related Stories:

Jawa Report: Third Jill Carroll Hostage Video

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U.S. Military To Release Five Female Iraqi Prisoners

The U.S. military will release 420 Iraqi prisoners following a recommendation from the Iraqi led Combined Review and Release Board. Five female prisoners will be among those released.

Journalist Jill Carroll’s captors had demanded the release of all female prisoners. Following this release, the U.S. will only have three female prisoners in its custody. Will Jill Carroll’s captors now release her? We’ll see.

Source: Source: Multi-National Force-Iraq

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U.S. Denies It Is Releasing Female Prisoners In Iraq

Denying a report carried by Al-Jazeera, the U.S. says it has no imminent plan to release female prisoners in Iraq:

Guardian Unlimited—The US military said today that it has no imminent plans to release female Iraqi prisoners, a move demanded by kidnappers to spare the life of an American journalist.

A Pentagon spokesman said that eight Iraqi women being held by the US in Iraq are going through the normal review process to decide whether they will be released. Navy Lieutenant Commander Joe Carpenter added that the kidnappers’ threat to US reporter Jill Carroll would not affect the decision on their fate. …

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Should News Be Suppressed?

Jack Shafer at the Slate had a good discussion yesterday about the news blackout in Jill Carroll’s case:

Slate—Sitting on newsworthy information is an unnatural act for most reporters—some would say unprofessional—and nobody can argue that the kidnapping of Jill Carroll isn’t newsworthy. By effortlessly banding together across several time zones to squelch information in the name of protecting one colleague in Baghdad, American journalists placed themselves in a hypocritical position. Didn’t their leading newspaper just publish national security information over the objections of a White House that protests that the story endangers the lives of millions of Americans? …

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