ALAN JOHNSTON KIDNAPPING
On Monday the 03/12/2007 armed, masked men kidnapped a British BBC reporter in Gaza strip. The reporter, Alan Johnston, age 44, lived in Gaza for some months.
The MI6 in UK, as well as the Israeli security services, believe that the Durmush clan, using the name "Army of Islam" and led by Zacarias Durmush, who are responsible for much of the violence and kidnapping in Gaza strip, including the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit on 06/25/2006, carried out this action in order to increase the pressure on the Palestinian new government to reach a multi million dollars deal for the release of the two hostages – Gilad Shalit and Alan Johnston.
* On Sunday, evening of 04/15/2007, in a statement faxed to news agencies, a group calling itself the 'Al Tawhid Al Jihad' claimed that it has killed BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston.
* On the late evening of Tuesday 05/08/2007 al-Jazeera news channel in Gaza has received a tape purportedly from the kidnappers of the BBC's Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston. The tape was made by a group calling itself Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) and includes a demand to release Islamic militants, such as Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, and especially the release of a Palestinian born Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, now in administrative preventive jail in UK. This tape proved that the kidnapers are willing to negotiate the release of Alan Johnston.
* On Friday 06/01/2007, after 80 days of captivity, in a videotape posted on an Islamic web site, with the logo of the “Army of Islam”, Alan Johnston, appears to be in good shape, said "In three years here in the Palestinian territories I witnessed the huge suffering of the Palestinian people, and my message is that the suffering is continuing and it is unacceptable," and slammed UK for its role in Israel's creation (probably he refers to Balfour Declaration from 11/02/1917).
*Despite the hopes, that after the Hamas took over all of Gaza Strip (06/15/2007), that Alan Johnston will be released soon, matters became complicated.
In a video broadcasted on one of Al Qaedas’ web sites on Tuesday, 06/19/2007, Mumtaz Durmush, the brother of Zacarias Durmush, denied they had reached a deal with Hamas for the imminent release of Alan Johnston, but acknowledged that there had been "developments" in meetings with Hamas. On that occasion he also expressed his sympathy to Al Qaeda.
* On Sunday night, 06/24/2007, the kidnappers of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston have released a new video of him, in which he is wearing. what he says. is an explosives vest and that his captors have said they will detonate the vest if force is used to try to free him.
* On Tuesday evening, 06/26/2007, Army of Islam have renewed their threat to kill Alan Johnston if their demands for Muslim prisoners to be freed are not met. The threat came, probably, after Hamas arrested two members of Durmush Clan in a Mosque in Gaza few hours earlier
* On Monday 07/02/2007 noon, Hamas in Gaza city detained, in a gun battle, Khattab al-Maqdisi, spokesman for the Army of Islam. Army of Islam retaliated later and kidnapped 10 Hamas university students
* Alan Johnston, was finally released, after a long, frustrating negotiation. On Wednesday 07/04/2007 at about 02:30, and was handed over to Hamas representatives. (see - JOHNSTON RELEASE)
* Alan Johnston was one of the journalist that brought what he called “the huge suffering of the Palestinian people” to the TV screen in the Western world constantly and systematically and was considered in Israel as one sided in the conflict if not pro Palestinian. Alan Johnston’s kidnapping, more than any other Palestinian action, distance the “suffering of the Palestinian” from the Western Public opinion.
** “Al-Tawhid “ (the Unitarians) is an Islamic ideology that there is a unification of Mohamed the prophet and God. Therefore the words and teaching of Mohamed are not an interpretation of Gods’ words but the words of God himself.
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