Four Arrested In Jill Carroll Kidnapping - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Four Arrested In Jill Carroll Kidnapping

Four Iraqi men have been arrested in the kidnapping of U.S. journalist Jill Carroll as a result of a dogged hunt by U.S. troops in Anbar province, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

"The hunt continues for anybody and anyone else that was involved not only in these kidnappings but those who ... spread terror in the lives of everyday Iraqi citizens," said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell.

"What's important to remember is that this is just one small part of the ordeal of a number of kidnap victims," the spokesman for Multi-National Forces in Iraq said.

He didn't say when the arrests were made, but Lt. Col. Barry Johnson told CNN they were made at least one month ago.

"Troops on the ground -- young Marines and sailors -- paid attention to what may have been considered minor details at the time," said Caldwell.

He said Marines from the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force were able to identify the location that "we believe" Carroll was held, approximately eight miles west of Falluja -- in Anbar province.

Caldwell singled out a lieutenant from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment who decided to investigate a house at that location he had learned about in intelligence reports.

Marines went there, detained and questioned the owner, then carried out a number of raids, which led to three more locations where the journalist was believed to have been held.

At a location north of Abu Ghraib in western Baghdad, three suspects in the kidnapping were arrested, and two hostage were found and freed, said Caldwell.

Whether Carroll was held at four sites or nine, as reported in newspaper accounts, is not known, said Caldwell. "But we do know that we had at least four sites that we have exploited and have followed through on," he added.

In all, 6 people were detained, 4 of them in connection with Carroll's kidnapping, he said.

Carroll was working as a freelancer for The Christian Science Monitor when she was kidnapped in a Sunni neighborhood of Baghdad on January 7. She appeared in insurgent videos on Arabic-language news networks and was threatened with death until her release on March 30.

The Boston-based newspaper said in a statement by editor Richard Bergenheim that she and her colleagues "are very grateful" for the government's efforts to secure her freedom.

"Like reporters everywhere, we are reassured to hear that several of those who held Jill have been apprehended," the statement read. "The daily threat of kidnapping in Iraq remains acute for all. Everything possible needs to be done to relieve Iraqis and others of this scourge."

Jill Carroll's father, Jim, told CNN that the family is "happy to hear the news" and that Jill "is doing well, in Boston, working for the Christian Science Monitor and recuperating."

The newspaper will carry her story of the ordeal next week.

Two missing after helicopter crash

Two crew members are missing after a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter went down in Anbar province in Iraq on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

The four remaining crew members have been found, along with the aircraft, and were in stable condition.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was on an "area familiarization flight" when it crashed, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

"We are using all the resources available to find our missing comrades," said Marine spokesman Maj. Riccoh Player.

The incident is not believed to be the result of an "enemy action," the military said.

News of the crash coincided with a new poll showing 60 percent of Americans oppose the war in Iraq and a majority of those surveyed expressing support for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Violence riddles Iraq

A Katyusha rocket attack on a residential building in Baquba killed a woman and a child and wounded 16 others Tuesday night, a Diyala Joint Coordination Center official said. The attack also damaged a Shiite mosque and shops.

Earlier in the day, two people were killed in drive-by shootings in Baquba.

The mixed Sunni and Shiite city, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, has endured many attacks since the insurgency began more than three years ago.

The killings brought to at least 34 the number of dead across Iraq by bombings or shootings Tuesday. Most of the incidents occurred in volatile Baghdad, where police found 15 bullet-riddled corpses, most of them showing signs of torture. The style of slayings has become a signature of Sunni-Shiite sectarian vendetta killings. 


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