Abducted Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Freed in Iraq

Abducted Catholic Archbishop of Mosul Freed in Iraq (NYT)

A 66-year-old Syrian Catholic archbishop kidnapped by masked gunmen was freed today, a day after his abduction, without the payment of any ransom, the Vatican said. Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, the head of the diocese in Mosul, a crime-ridden city in northern Iraq, was walking in front of his church when a group of insurgents pushed him into a car at gunpoint on Monday, several members of Mosul’s large Christian population community said.

Pope John Paul II, who had prayed for the archbishop’s release, was immediately informed of the release, the papal spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said in a statement. “Thank God for the happy conclusion,” it added. Mr. Navarro-Valls said no ransom had been paid for the archbishop’s release. He added that the abduction had come as a surprise to the Vatican, because Archbishop Casmoussa was popular with both Christians and Muslims. It was the first time insurgents had seized such a prominent Christian leader.

Good, if perplexing, news.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

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  2. Our Life says:

    Archbishop Freed
    No ransom paid, no demands met. More Coverage: Digger’s Realm Outside The Beltway Interested-Participant The Command Post The Counterterrorism Blog The Jawa Report (Check the Update)…

  3. Archbishop of Mosul Freed
    Well this is certainly good news. (H/T Outside The Beltway) A 66-year-old Syrian Catholic archbishop kidnapped by masked gunmen was freed today, a day after his abduction, without the payment of any ransom, the Vatican said.

    Archbishop Basile George…

  4. Catholic Archbishop, Basile Georges Casmoussa, Freed In Iraq
    Catholic Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, 66, who was taken hostage January 17, 2005 has been freed by his captors. The hostage takers had demanded $200,000 for the release of the Archbishop, but the Vatican is claiming he was released without…

  5. INBB says:

    “Captured Americans are killed quickly while others are held longer to test their governments’ resolve”
    This from RUSI, Kidnappers’ double-headed strategy in Iraq. Perhaps the lastest relaese of a Catholic Archbishop of Mosul would be an excellent example of this argument. Italy, France and Britain have all been stricken by hostage crises lately. Offici…