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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Believe it or not..............

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Once you have been a here a while, you start to hear stories that will never hit the news stands or nightly news channels. Some are urban myths, others are elaborate tales and then their are some that are so incredible that you can't help but think..."hey that’s possible in a country like this."

So I don’t know how many of you know about the recent 'rescue' of a German 'NGO' worker that was 'kidnapped' for two and a half months. This is today's media report on the kidnapping case.

Kabul, 22 Oct. (AKI) - Al-Qaeda's media arm, al-Sahab, has posted a new video on Islamist websites showing a Taliban leader who they claim was released in exchange for a German hostage kidnapped in July. He was freed earlier this month by the Afghan government together with four other Taliban fighters in exchange for the release of German engineer Rudolf Blechschimdt, who was kidnapped together with four Afghans in July. Mohammad Naeem, the governor of Jaghato district in the Afghan province of Wardak, had announced at the time that five freed Taliban prisoners were not prominent members of the hardline group. With this latest video, the Taliban have denied this assertion and told al-Qaeda's followers on the Internet that the release of this high-level Taliban figure is a victory for Islam.

Well, over a couple of imported beers the other night, I heard another perspective on this tale.

The kidnappee (Rudolf) was a well known arms dealer in Afghanistan. Rudolf wasn’t in the police's good books, because he sold arms to private security firms without a license. Rudolf also still owns one of many brothels (or as we call them: Chinese restaurants) in Kabul. So he had some enemies, most arms dealers come pimps do......

Back in July Rudolf was contracted by a Afghan firm to visit Wardak province, the police escorted Rudolf to his 'business' meeting. But instead of delivering him to his new business associates, the police escorted him to the local kidnapping gang. The kidnappers showed their appreciation by kidnapping the police too. (Mainly for show) Anyway the police were released a couple of hours later.

So the Kidnappers kept Rudolf for almost 3 months and he was used by the press and politicians as one point on the 'scoreboard of abductions'. At this point in the match the South Koreans were clearly in the lead!

Later one prominent NGO got involved and tried to negotiate with a bundle of cash, but this fell through. The cash was never exchanged in Kabul. Basically, there was a cock up, which pissed off the hostage takers. Tit for tat started and the Afghan police decided to kidnap the father of one of the original kidnappers and threaten to kill him if they did not let Rudolf go. The kidnappers told them they didnt care for the old man and to go ahead and kill him. So the police kidnapped the whole family.

I know its confusing, but stay with me.

So then the prominent NGO got involved for a second round of negotiations with the same bundle of cash. The prominent NGO negotiated the release of Rudolf in exchange for $US40,000 and a group of Talibs. (Apparently $40,000 is the going rate for hostages these days...)

Ok now I hear you say "When did anyone say that the Taliban was involved...?"

Well, the kidnapped family members convieniently turned into imprisoned Talibs for the benefit of the press and the outside world. So the prominent NGO had saved the day. They had successfully negotiated the release of a German 'engineer' in exchange for some loose change and some Talibs.

In a final twist in this tale, the prominent NGO negotiators were also kidnapped at the second round of negotiations, but were shortly after released. (Again for show)

In a closing epilogue of this grandiose extortion excerpt. It is common knowledge that the current occupying forces will go into the area of kidnappings, after the negotiations are finished and wipe out the whole group involved in the kidnapping. The fate of the Wardak kidnappers would most likely have been the same as the South Korean kidnappers. Extermination.

Believe it or not..............
posted by Travis, 8:36 pm


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