Video Shows Activists Kidnapped in Iraq

A terrorist group calling itself The Swords of Righteousness Brigade has released a video of four Western peace activists taken hostage in Iraq.

Video Shows Activists Kidnapped in Iraq (AP)

Al-Jazeera broadcast an insurgent video Tuesday showing four peace activists taken hostage in Iraq, with a previously unknown group claiming responsibility for the kidnappings. The Swords of Righteousness Brigade said the four were spies working undercover as Christian peace activists, Al-Jazeera said. The station said it could not verify any of the information on the tape.

The aid group Christian Peacemaker Teams has confirmed that four of its members were taken hostage Saturday.

German television broadcast photos Tuesday showing a blindfolded German woman being led away by armed captors in Iraq. Six Iranian pilgrims, meanwhile, were abducted by gunmen north of Baghdad. The pictures of Susanne Osthoff were taken from a video in which her captors demanded that Germany stop any dealings with Iraq’s government, according to Germany’s ARD television. Germany has ruled out sending troops to Iraq and opposed the U.S.-led war.


The tape broadcast by Al-Jazeera showed four men and a British passport belonging to Norman Kember. The British government and the Christian Peacemaker Teams have both said Kember, a 74-year-old Briton, was among the four activists taken hostage.

Iraq video shows Western hostages (BBC)

Photo: The captives were shown in the video but not their captorsArab Satellite channel al-Jazeera has broadcast a video made by a previously unknown militant group of four human rights activists taken hostage in Iraq. A Briton, two Canadians and a US citizen were kidnapped in western Baghdad on Saturday.

The Swords of Truth Brigade claimed the hostages were undercover spies and showed the passport of the British man, 70-year-old Norman Kember.

Rusty Shackleford has still photos, a video, and a transcript of the video.

A hostage video has been released of the four Western peace activists taken hostage in Iraq. The Jawa Report has obtained a copy of the video. Images from the video and links to video posted below. The video shows American Thomas Fox of Clear Brook Virginia, Canadian Harmeet Singh Sooden, who resides in Auckland, New Zealand, British citizen Norman Kember, and some one who appears to identify himself as James Loni (last name unclear) of Canada.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bithead says:

    I have to admit being less than fully sympathetic, here. These people got involved with this by under-estimating the level of evil that we face. They figured, as self-labeled ‘peace activists’ tend to, that that our enemy can be negotiated with.

    They’re now learning the cost of not listening to the ‘war mongers’ back home.

  2. M. Murcek says:

    If a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, what does this escapade make these guys?

  3. bithead says:

    (Murcek)= (Shorter Bithead)

    Not bad, Murcek.

  4. RA says:

    Actually I’m sceptical. This might be a ploy for the peace-niks to get Taken and then ransomned for millions. A back handed way to fund the terrorists.

    We should ensure that not one penny is paid for these traitors. Once the jihadis realize that no money is coming they will let them go. Even better they could behead them on TV. The only way we loose is if we pay.

  5. Hamda says:

    Actually, from what I understand, this particular group was very conscious of the risks they were taking. They’ve been in Iraq since before the war began and are one of the last NGOs remaining in the country. Also, they have plenty of past experience in other war-torn regions of the world. It’s hard to imagine that they weren’t already very well aware of precisely how dangerous Iraq had become.

    I dunno, I think of them more as hard-core war correspondents than anything. They know the risks when they go in but make a conscious decision that the need to document the truth outwieghs any personal risks that they may face. To be perfectly honest, that was also the spirit of a lot of the Allied forces during World War 2, although I doubt this particular organization would appreciate the otherwise laudable comparison.

  6. Fi Brown says:

    Perhaps it might be more poignant to remember that more than one man’s life is at risk here.

    Whilst I appreciate the sentiments of ‘should have known better’ I would ask people to remember how they have said that to their children and adults, or had it said to them. Rarely did it end in a life potentially being taken.

    To wish, or rationalise Kember and his colleagues dead is to be no better than Saddam Hussain himself.

    How would you feel if it were you and you survived and read these comments??

    Then again, would you be brave enough to stand up for what you believe in?

    Fi Brown