Monday, August 25, 2014

Syria/Germany: Germany Noncomittal on How Release of German Kidnap Victim, 27, Was Secured

According to AFP, a 27-year-old German citizen kidnapped in Syria by IS militants roughly a year ago has reportedly been released, according to the Sunday's (August 25) newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

In a bizarre statement, Welt am Sonntag said that a "substantial consideration" was made to secure the German's release.
Yet, the newspaper quoted the German Foreign Minstry as insisting that no ransom was paid for the man's release.

COMMENT:  It is an understatement, in light of many foreign governments agreeing to pay six-and-seven-figure ransom payments and more while others refuse to pay outright to get their citizens back home.

Even the US, which for the better part of 40 years refused to pay ransom or make any concessions to terrorists, seemingly did so to secure the release of Bowe Bergdahl, a known US Army deserter, for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners of war.

Although Washington contended that it did not directly interact with the Qataris, who ratified the deal, any coordination with terrorists, however indirect, amounts to "making a deal with scum."

In point of fact, there has always been a delineation between US government hostages and private sector hostages: Latin American rebels amassed  billions from the FARC and ELN in Colombia over a 50-year period, whereas the handful of government kidnap victims were forced to "take one for the team."

Contacted by AFP, the German Foreign Ministry refused to make a statement.

The German citizen, whose name has not been released, is from the eastern state of Brandenburg and had traveled to Syria in June 2013 with the intention of offering "humanitarian aid."

Earlier this year, the man's family received a video containing a ransom demand and also showing the execution of another hostage, the newspaper said.

German authorities, including federal police BKA, BND and the Foreign Ministry, subsequently entered into negotiations with the kidnappers.