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Thursday, April 19, 2007

It's all about money

WorldNetDaily is reporting that kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston is being held by one of Gaza's many clans, which is now demanding a $5 million ransom for his release.
Palestinian security officials said their information indicates Johnston, who was kidnapped March 12, is being held by members of the Dugmash clan, a powerful Gaza-based Palestinian family affiliated with local terrorist organizations and ideologically aligned with global jihad groups.

According to Palestinian security officials, Johnston's captors are demanding a $5 million ransom and have threatened if the money is not paid they will either sell Johnston to another group or kill him.

The officials said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other parties involved in the investigations are hesitant to allow the ransom to be paid for fear the money will be used to enhance the position of the Dugmash clan against other Gaza-based factions, including Abbas' Fatah organization.

"We are sure any ransom money will be used to purchase weapons and make the Dugmash's stronger," said a top Palestinian security official.
This is not the first time we have heard of the Dugmash clan and not the first time they have demanded ransom for a reporter.
"We have indications the Dugmash's are even willing to sell Johnston to another group if there is interest. They will sell to the highest bidder," said a Palestinian security official.

Some members of the Dugmash clan lead the "Saladin resistance department" of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The Committees is accused of orchestrating attacks along with groups affiliated with al-Qaida and has carried out anti-American attacks. Israel says the Committees was responsible for the bombing of a U.S. convoy in Gaza in 2003 in which three American government contractors were killed.

A significant number of Dugmash clan members left the Committees last year, complaining the group was not "Muslim enough." They formed a new organization, the Palestine Army of Islam, which bills itself as the closest Palestinian organization ideologically to al-Qaida. The Army of Islam is one of three terrorist groups that claimed responsibility in June for the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Israeli and Palestinian security officials said the Dugmash clan was strongly suspected of kidnapping two Fox News reporters in Gaza in August held for two weeks but later released.

WND previously featured an English-language debut exclusive interview with the leader of the Army of Islam, Mumtaz Dugmash, also known as Abu Muhammad.

Abu Muhammad, speaking from Gaza, said last August during the Fox News kidnap ordeal he understood the "necessity" of carrying out abductions of reporters.
But hey, let's give the 'Palestinians' a state reichlet, and while we are at it, let's boycott Israel too. That will solve all the world's problems.


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