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Kidnapped journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig won their release and have returned to safety. Their abductors only freed them after "converting" the pair to the Religion of PeaceTM at gunpoint:
Two FOX News journalists were released by their kidnappers Sunday, nearly two weeks after they were taken hostage in the Gaza Strip. ...
"We were forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint," Centanni told FOX News. "Don't get me wrong here. I have the highest respect for Islam, and I learned a lot of good things about it, but it was something we felt we had to do because they had the guns, and we didn't know what the hell was going on." ...
Later Sunday, the two journalists made a joint appearance with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. Haniyeh, Centanni and Wiig sat in a circle of chairs at the Beach Hotel. Wiig was also accompanied by his wife, Anita McNaught.
This is a better end to the drama than most people believed we would get. The initial reluctance of the group to claim responsibility for the kidnapping or to issue any demands led some to believe that the pair had been assassinated instead of kidnapped. When the terrorists finally issued commands, they were too fantastic to believe that the kidnapping would end happily.
It certainly ended happily for Ismail Haniyeh. The Hamas Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority got to make himself look like a hero to the West, and thankfully this motivation proved more valuable than two dead Western journalists for his propaganda purposes. Haniyeh made sure that he got to hold a press conference with the two former hostages to milk every bit of good press he could manufacture.
On top of that, Haniyeh gave himself the opportunity to tell journalists that not only did al-Qaeda have no part in this abduction, but that "Al Qaeda as an organization does not exist in the Gaza Strip." This contradicts intelligence coming from a number of Western sources that AQ has made a big push while Gaza remains in chaos. Even if AQ has made few inroads, though, Gaza still has Islamic Jihad, Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, and Hamas itself as active terrorist organizations in charge of the territory.
The Holy Jihad Brigade apparently wants to include themselves among the Big Three of Palestinian terrorism. They have a strange way of applying. Besides forcing the conversion of the two to Islam, they made them play dress-up and recorded a degrading video of the pair denouncing the West in Arabic robes. I'm not sure who they thought such a display would convince, but Centanni and Wiig wisely played along with the demands, and now this laughable statement gives evidence of the childish and intellectually stunted nature of Palestinian terrorism. Even Haniyeh will be embarrassed by that show.
Michelle Malkin has a great roundup of coverage to this story.
UPDATE: Allahpundit has the conversion video.Sphere It View blog reactions
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