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Marines rescue Syrian driver captured in August with French journalists
AP ^ | 11/12/4 | EDWARD HARRIS

Posted on 11/12/2004 10:33:34 AM PST by SmithL

FALLUJAH -- A Syrian found handcuffed in Fallujah and rescued by U.S. Marines was kidnapped with two French journalists in August, and has told authorities he last saw the Frenchmen a month ago -- the first confirmed word on the captives since they disappeared in August.

Marines sweeping through Fallujah as part of a major U.S. offensive against insurgents located Mohammed al-Joundi, the U.S. military said, but there was no sign of journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.

The Marines said the Syrian, who was found late Thursday, told them he was separated from the journalists a month ago. The location of the house where he was discovered was not disclosed.

The three -- al-Joundi was the journalists' driver -- were abducted Aug. 20 while headed south from Baghdad to the Shiite holy city of Najaf. A militant group calling itself the Islamic Army in Iraq claimed responsibility and demanded France revoke a new law banning Islamic head scarves from state schools.

Al-Joundi said they were ambushed on the highway by men in two cars -- a white Mercedes and a Korean-made vehicle, Marine Capt. Ed Bitanga said.

At one point, the Syrian was interrogated by his captors in a room where he saw a black flag with crossed swords, Bitanga said.

Although he was blindfolded at times, al-Joundi said he saw several other hostages, including two Czech nationals -- one of whom was injured.

More than 170 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq, and at least 34 have been killed. Several groups have claimed responsibility, including the Islamic Army in Iraq and followers of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian with links to al-Qaida. U.S. military officials have said they believe al-Zarqawi likely fled Fallujah ahead of this week's offensive on the city west of Baghdad.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: czechoslavakia; czechs; fallujah; france; frenchmen; iraq; islamicarmy; islamicarmyiniraq; marinestotherescue; napalminthemorning; religionofpeace; wot; zarqawi
Semper Fi, Marines!
1 posted on 11/12/2004 10:33:35 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL
Didn't we find two fake french reporters today that were actually french intelligence?
2 posted on 11/12/2004 10:36:56 AM PST by CindyDawg
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To: SmithL; Dog; dead; Dead Dog

Keep in mind that French "journalists" could easily be French intelligence officers undercover...

3 posted on 11/12/2004 10:37:27 AM PST by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: SmithL

No doubt that Fallujah was a terrorist nest. I'm wishing the Marines success killing these pests.


4 posted on 11/12/2004 10:44:45 AM PST by george wythe
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To: SmithL
A Syrian driver Mohammed al-Joundi,   shows how he was handcuffed after being freed by US Marines early morning in the center of Fallujah, Iraq, Friday, Nov. 12, 2004. The U.S. military confirmed Friday a hostage found in Fallujah is Mohammed al-Joundu  the Syrian driver abducted with two French journalists in August. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Fri Nov 12, 9:43 AM ET
AP

A Syrian driver Mohammed al-Joundi, shows how he was handcuffed after being freed by US Marines early morning in the center of Fallujah, Iraq (news - web sites), Friday, Nov. 12, 2004. The U.S. military confirmed Friday a hostage found in Fallujah is Mohammed al-Joundu the Syrian driver abducted with two French journalists in August. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

5 posted on 11/12/2004 10:49:00 AM PST by OXENinFLA
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To: SmithL

It would be really nice if we could find those French journalists alive. They have been a huge media story in France, and American troops would at least get some positive press coverage there.


6 posted on 11/12/2004 10:51:38 AM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: OXENinFLA

I want to see if he can identify these two "journalists".


7 posted on 11/12/2004 10:53:41 AM PST by CindyDawg
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To: OXENinFLA

Go home and tell your friends about the Americans, Mohammed.


8 posted on 11/12/2004 10:58:45 AM PST by doug from upland (Vietnam Vets: FINALLY -- welcome home, heroes)
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To: Southack
Keep in mind that French "journalists" could easily be French intelligence officers undercover...

No doubt there to pick Chiraq's bribes "commission".

9 posted on 11/12/2004 11:01:18 AM PST by RJL
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To: July 4th

The french "journalists" were probably Froggie spies there to help the insurgents, or at least propagandize for them. I don't wish any person harm, but I won't wasted any sympathy for these froggies either.


10 posted on 11/12/2004 11:11:21 AM PST by CatoRenasci (Ceterum Censeo Arabiam Esse Delendam -- Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit)
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To: SmithL

The rescue of these hostages alone justifies the Fallujah offensive.


11 posted on 11/12/2004 11:15:42 AM PST by P-Marlowe
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To: SmithL

Glad the story is finally getting out. Rescuing just one hostage or prisoner of those animals justifies taking out Falluja....counting the two brothers rescued in another house, that makes 3 : one hostage and two prisoners


12 posted on 11/12/2004 11:28:15 AM PST by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions=Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: SmithL

almost makes sense. Even though France's position was neutral, it's more likely they'd preserve the life of the Syrian and not the French (I would hope they were OK though).

this Syrian, should be very thankful, though.


13 posted on 11/12/2004 11:50:21 AM PST by F15Eagle
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To: SmithL

LIBERATORS !! Woohooo !!


14 posted on 11/12/2004 11:52:23 AM PST by ChadGore (60,724,666 Bush fans can't be wrong.)
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To: SmithL
The three -- al-Joundi was the journalists' driver -- were abducted Aug. 20 while headed south from Baghdad to the Shiite holy city of Najaf.

I am so sick of this PC garbage. Why can't they just say "The three -- al-Joundi was the journalists' driver -- were abducted Aug. 20 while headed south from Baghdad to Najaf."

You don't read of people driving from Venice to the holy city of Rome, do you? Of course not.

15 posted on 11/12/2004 1:46:01 PM PST by NCjim
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To: SmithL

France will still hate us. (Like I care if they do).


16 posted on 11/12/2004 1:51:07 PM PST by RetiredArmy (WE DEFEATED THE COMMUNIST KERRY! We Vietnam Veterans ARE Vindicated. We have our revenge!)
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To: CindyDawg

"Didn't we find two fake french reporters today that were actually french intelligence?"

I hadn't heard of these two reporters. Are they in addition to the ones kidnapped a couple of months ago?

Any one can confirm if there are a total of 4 French reporters kidnapped by the terrorists?


17 posted on 11/12/2004 3:30:58 PM PST by mjtobias
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To: P-Marlowe

You mean a live hostage is more important than a global test? Surely you jest.


18 posted on 11/12/2004 3:33:11 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: mjtobias

I don't know about 4 kidnapped. I was just wondering if the two this man saw, might have actually been the two french intelligent guys that we caught today and if two journalists were actually kidnapped to begin with. Probably a far reach but just something I thought about.http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1278401/posts


19 posted on 11/12/2004 3:40:42 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: CindyDawg

Thanks for that thread link, Cindy.

That makes sense now, and you may be right. In fact, they may as well be the fake ones. I wonder what they were doing in Iraq. Possibly looking for the two French hostages, or some ulterior motive?


20 posted on 11/12/2004 4:11:41 PM PST by mjtobias
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To: SmithL

I don't know. Sounds fishy. Or perhaps whishy...
Why would real French Journalist's hire a Syrian to drive them around? Why wouldn't they hire a local taxi driver that knows all the roads etc..


21 posted on 11/12/2004 4:12:56 PM PST by Marine_Uncle
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To: Southack
Mega Oxymoron: French Intelligence!
22 posted on 11/12/2004 5:09:37 PM PST by KoneZone (Watch out for the backstabber's.)
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To: SmithL

Ship the Froggy out....to the Ivory Coast.


23 posted on 11/12/2004 7:12:52 PM PST by Westlander (BzzZZZ Pffft Gone)
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To: NCjim
I am so sick of this PC garbage. Why can't they just say "The three -- al-Joundi was the journalists' driver -- were abducted Aug. 20 while headed south from Baghdad to Najaf."

You don't read of people driving from Venice to the holy city of Rome, do you? Of course not.

No, and you will never hear that or "the holy city of Jerusalem." Any reporter who wrote than would be accused of "bias." There is something condescending though in the way they describe these "holy" cities. But then political correctness is always condescending.

24 posted on 11/12/2004 7:33:37 PM PST by Mona Lisa2 ( Cameron Diaz: “If you think rape should be legal, then don’t vote!”)
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To: SmithL

Waiting to see this on my local MSM news. Today their broadcast started with the latest Iraqi deaths, then the total American death count. No positive news at all.


25 posted on 11/12/2004 8:52:11 PM PST by Ciexyz (Bush still rules. The sun shines over America.)
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To: CindyDawg

Didn't we find two fake french reporters today that were actually french intelligence?

Knowing the French, they were probably embedded reporters...for the terrorists. :(


26 posted on 11/13/2004 1:32:05 AM PST by FBD (BORK Specter)
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To: Ciexyz
"Waiting to see this on my local MSM news."

Haven't you heard? They are no longer the "mainstream media". They are now called the "old media".
I think that has a nice ring to it!
By the way, I did hear about this on A.B.S. news today.

27 posted on 11/13/2004 1:37:14 AM PST by FBD (BORK Specter)
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To: NCjim
'I am so sick of this PC garbage. Why can't they just say "The three -- al-Joundi was the journalists' driver -- were abducted Aug. 20 while headed south from Baghdad to Najaf."

You don't read of people driving from Venice to the holy city of Rome, do you? Of course not."

- Of course not. But a slightly altered pronunciation of the letters will give you the proper interpretation of what the reporter really meant.
Read it again, FRiend:

"...theShiitehole y city of Najaf"

There are many such aptly named cities in Iraq. In fact...all of them, according to what a returning soldier told me.

Regards

28 posted on 11/13/2004 1:56:31 AM PST by FBD (BORK Specter)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

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