Rory Carroll recounts his ordeal

Reporter Rory Carroll writes about his abduction in today’s Guardian. This passage in particular sheds some light on the political background to his kidnapping and eventual release.

Ahmad Chalabi, the deputy prime minister, waited with a smile at his palm-fringed compound. Elements of Moqtada al-Sadr’s movement had snatched me, ostensibly to gain leverage for friends detained by the British in Basra, he said, though some wanted to sell me to jihadists.

He said his lobbying had clinched the release. "We got you out just in time." It was over. I slumped into a seat. An aide fished a can of beer from his jacket pocket. "I think you’ll be wanting this." (Guardian)






2 responses to “Rory Carroll recounts his ordeal”

  1. Alex avatar

    Now, seeing as Chalabi was involved, we can be *certain* that the explanation given is a lie.
    Did you know he was Nabib Berri, the founder of Amal’s financial adviser back in the 80s? And he tried to introduce Robert Fisk to Ollie North?

  2. Tom Griffin avatar

    What immediately struck me about this was Chalabi’s Iranian connections, especially as the Iranians were quick to call for Carroll’s release.
    I think that intuition may have been confirmed by this story:
    Our Iranian friends seem to have called in favours: Ireland has long been blessed with excellent Iranian diplomats, and vice versa. It is easier to get an Iranian visa in Dublin than London.
    Iraqi Shia neighbourhoods are increasingly influenced by Iran, which has generally acted as a moderating influence.
    By the way, here’s what Mahan Abedin says about Chalabi:
    In real terms, Jalal Talibani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Ahmad Chalabi’s now largely defunct INC have received more logistical and financial help from Iran than the SCIRI and al-Daawa respectively. The PUK has been a reliable Iranian ally in Iraqi Kurdistan since the early 1980s. Ahmad Chalabi, meanwhile, has been sponsored by Iran since the early years of the Iran-Iraq war. Chalabi’s Petra Bank in Jordan (which was later embroiled in a fraud and embezzlement scandal and was subsequently closed down in August 1989) reportedly funded the Iranian war effort.

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