Thursday, September 16, 2004

Downer 'unaware' kidnappers paid hostage $2

Mark Latham is very upset that Howard and Downer did not tell him about the special defense and police team that had already flown to Iraq as part of contingency planning in the event it was necessary to attempt a rescue of kidnapped Australians.

This must refer to the hostage negotiators.

Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer was blunt when he was asked about reports of SAS involvement.

"No, no, there's no SAS. The regiment's recovery team is on standby at its headquarters inside Campbell Barracks at Swanbourne, near Perth, but was not included in government contingency plans activated on Tuesday." he said.
Mr Howard also rejected Labor claims the Government had breached the so-called caretaker convention by not consulting it about the make-up of a specialist federal police team sent to Iraq.

What?
Since when have the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) been interchangeable entities?
Perhaps it's a typo?
Perhaps D for Dickhead and P for Prick weren't clearly articulated?

It's fortunate that the ransom was paid for Sheikh Mohamed Sidbiyani one of Sydney's leading Shiite clerics because relying on this Government to act honestly or transparently could be fatal.





Update

The Daily Telegraph said the gang demanded $140,000 and kept Sheikh Mohamed Sidbiyani captive for three days before bundling him into the boot of a car, driving him to the town of Mahmoudeya, giving him $2 and freeing him without receiving the ransom because he is a cleric.

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