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Friday, July 06, 2007

Alan Johnston did not come cheaply

A report at Maan News based on anonymous sources within the 'Army of Islam' indicates that a high price was paid for the release of kidnapped British journalist useful idiot Alan Johnston.
According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, "the army of Islam will receive five million US dollars and more than one million bullets". The sources added that "a pledge was made by some of the religious leaders, who issued a fatwa announcing that the acquiring of a ransom would be preferable to killing the reporter". The clerics also allegedly received guarantees from the leaders of the Hamas-affiliated Al Qassam Brigades and the leaders of the Army of Islam, who agreed to exchange the reporter for the money.

The anonymous sources confirmed that the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) mediated between the Army of Islam and the Qassam brigades. "The army [Army of Islam] first received the money and the bullets, although the deal also included the release of members of [the Army of Islam], abducted by Hamas, and a pledge from the Hamas movement not to attack 'the army' in the future." The militant group then apparently handed Johnston to clan sheikhs, and then on to former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

In statements to journalists, the PRC confirmed the fatwa, but did not speak about any financial ransom.

A spokesman for the PRC said that the deal was that the abductors would be allowed to keep their weapons, and denied any ransom in the deal.

Prominent Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, is reported to have said that the man was released "without any conditions".

Al Quds al Arabi, the London-based newspaper reported that Said Siyam, the former Hamas interior minister had stated that Mumtaz Doghmosh, and three of his comrades, had stood accused of committing the assassination of the late General Jad at-Tayih.

According to Palestinian sources, Doghmush has now received guarantees from Hamas that he will not be taken to court for the crimes it is alleged he has committed. The same sources added that the deal also includes the release of Khattab Al Maqdsi, abducted by Hamas some days ago.

Dismissed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, however, denied the reports of a deal made to release the BBC reporter.


Haniyeh also stated that his government "will not touch the arms of the resistance groups, as long as these weapons are aimed at the correct target… If these weapons are moved in another direction, or to create lawlessness, we will surely pursue those responsible, as we don’t want to return to the former state of disorder."
But this evening, it seems that Hamas has forgotten that it ever made a deal with the 'Army of Islam' and the Dugmash clan.
... a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip said his movement was determined to disarm the Dughmushes.

"There is a decision by Hamas to confiscate the weapons of all clans and gangs in the Gaza Strip," the official said. "It's only a matter of time before the Dughmush clan is also disarmed."

The Hamas official said the Army of Islam, which is headed by Mumtaz Dughmush, was "nothing but a group of gangsters operating under the cover of Islam." [Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! CiJ]

The group has nothing to do with Islam, he stressed. "When its members kidnapped the British reporter, they demanded $2 million and a plot of land from the Palestinian Authority," he said. "But when Hamas came to power, the gang knew that they would never get anything out of us."

A clan member told The Jerusalem Post that the five-point agreement with Hamas recognized the Army of Islam as "the weapon of mujahideen [holy warriors] against Jews, Crusaders and apostates."

He said the deal also banned Hamas and the Army of Islam from attacking each other and called for solving future disputes peacefully.

"The Army of Islam belongs to all Muslims, and not a particular clan or faction," the clan member said. "We decided to release the journalist so as not to give an excuse to the Crusaders to dispatch international troops to the Gaza Strip."

Another member of the clan said Mumtaz Dughmush decided to release Johnston after he received assurances from Hamas that he and his relatives would not be killed. "We wanted to avoid a bloodbath in the Gaza Strip," he said. "It's forbidden for a Muslim to shed the blood of his Muslim brother."

Mumtaz, his brother Mu'taz and one of his top aides, Ahmed Mathloum, are all wanted by Hamas for involvement in the killing of Hamas operatives over the past two years.
Johnston paid an equal opportunity visit to 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen today (pictured at top).
Johnston's visit to Ramallah, a day after his release from 114 days in captivity in Gaza, came at the request of senior PA officials, who were unhappy with the fact that the British reporter had given Hamas full credit for his release, the officials said.

They said that PA Prime Minister Salaam Fayad and former Fatah security commander Jibril Rajoub visited the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem on Wednesday night and extended an invitation to Johnston to meet with Abbas.

However, BBC Middle East Bureau Editor Simon Wilson said the idea for the Abbas visit originated with Johnston himself.

"Alan wanted to thank as many people as possible," said Wilson. "There were many Palestinians across the West Bank who worked to secure his release," he said.

In the car on the way out of Gaza, Johnston said that he wanted to thank Abbas, Wilson recalled.

"We [the BBC] asked for a meeting with the president," Wilson said. He added that the British consulate put in a request for the meeting on Thursday morning and it was accepted by the Palestinians.
But give them a state reichlet and they'll start keeping their word and stop arguing with each other. Then they'll only want to kill Jews....


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