The kidnap ruse


Over the last few years kidnappings have provided a means for some leaders to burnish their images—a public relations ploy to garner favorable ratings. We know that previous kidnappings in the Middle East have lead to the gambit of Jesse Jackson flying to "rescue" the victims. Libyan leader Qaddafi provided the ransom money in 2000 to the Filipino Islamic terror group Abu Sayaf, after they kidnapped foreign tourists and resort workers. (Another way to view this is that this was a set—up, providing him a public way to funnel money to a group he supported).

Now the embattled and lonely Yasser Arafat has been asked to intercede to help rescue a kidnapped Brit held in Iraq.
and "rescued" a CNN producer kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. 

This round robin ruse is abhorent. The idea of giving a public relations boost to a terrorist, for helping to get another terrorist to release hostages, is another step which encourages further kidnapping.
Given that Arafat has staged fake arrests and imprisonment for the sake of gullible media and diplomats, is it difficult to believe that he also engineered the kidnapping of the CNN reporter so as to redeem his image when the reporter is released? Will CNN owe him one?

I wonder if it would be too over the top to suggest that this sounds like some movie ploy: using criminals to catch a criminal (like the movie "M" with Peter Lorre) ?

Ed Lasky   9 29 04