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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ransom demands for Australian's release

From correspondents in Mogadishu | September 08, 2008
The kidnappers of an Australian photographer and Canadian and Somali journalists in Somalia are demanding a $US2.5 million ($3.08 million) ransom, a traditional chief in contact with the abductors said today.

"The kidnappers demanded 2.5 million dollars and we are trying to secure their release,'' said Dahir Farah, who has been participating in negotiations to free the three abducted in Somalia last month.

Another person claiming to be an intermediary for the kidnappers spoke of the same ransom demand.

He also allowed two people claiming to be the foreign journalists to speak briefly to news wire services.

"I'm Amanda, the Canadian journalist. Our health situation is very well for the time being,'' Amanda Lindhout, a freelance foreign correspondent from the western Canadian province of Alberta, purportedly said.

A man claiming to be Nigel Geoffrey Brennan, an Australian photographer, said: "We are very well now mentally and physically.''

They were speaking from an undisclosed location.

"We need a ransom of 2.5 million dollars to free the hostages,'' the intermediary, Adan Nur Siad, said.

He said he had been in touch with representatives of the Australian police in Nairobi.

Mr Brennan and Ms Lindhout, as well as their Somali fixer, who is also a journalist, were abducted on August 23 on the road from the capital Mogadishu to Afgoye, where they intended to visit refugee camps.

Journalists and humanitarian workers are frequently abducted in Somalia, a country torn apart by unrest since 1991.

Most kidnappings include ransom demands.


  1. Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

    Terry -

    The latest demands from the Somali abductors of Amanda and Nigel (and their Somali "fixer") does not sound good. I do hope that their respective home nations are working with the Somali "government" (if you could call it that) on expediting their release.

    I currently torn over the ransom demands. If they pay it, then it only empowers the culprits to do so once again in the future (i.e. every foreigner becomes a potential fiscal windfall ... a "sack of cash" if you will). If they do not, then you have the risk of potential harm coming to them. Very difficult circumstances.

    Both Amanda, Nigel, and the fixer's families are in my prayers, in addition to all of the individuals working on their behalf for a quick and safe release.

    Thank you for taking the time and effort to keep their plight as current as possible here on the ever changing landscape of the Internet.

    Take care,

    Brent Watts
    Florida, U.S.A.

  2. Amanda’s kidnapping: It has now become political.

    The Canadian government has been silent for weeks beyond recognition they are working on it.

    With the announcement of the 2.5 million dollar demand and the release of the video tape things have gotten worse, they have become political.

    If they were just thugs wanting 2.5 million dollars the government could deal with that.

    Now with the new turn of events (From The Canadian Press):

    “The Qatar-based TV network says their kidnappers are members of the so-called Mujahedeen of Somalia, which accuses the governments of Australia and Canada of "contributing to the destruction of Somalia."

    Amanda and her Australian friend are being held by a Terrorist group using this situation for political purposes. I now think the Canadian government has been silent all these weeks because they always new this. When the people who kidnapped Amanda where just ‘Thugs’ they could do something and the lack of information in the press allowed them to take some course of action in the shadows. Now it’s in the open, they are not thugs; they are political motivated Muslim extremists using Amanda as a pawn in a chess match. A game that I fear will have no winners and already has an outcome that was pre-determined by her captors before she was ever taken.

    Our country as with many others has a strict policy of not negotiating with Terrorists.

    Now I am very scared.

  3. Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

    One month already. This abduction of Amanda and Nigel has already gone on for a month ... why hasn't there been more newsmedia coverage on their plight?

    Is there any possibility of posting the contact information on this blog of the various Canadian, Australian, and Somali governmental authorities (email addresses please), and anyone at the United Nations who may be working behind the scenes on this issue of releasing Amanda and Nigel?

    Continued prayers for everyone involved and affected by this.

    Peace out,