Jaish al-Islam releases tape on Islamic website demanding UK free jailed Islamic radicals for BBC reporter Alan Johnston
It was accompanied by what appeared to be a picture of Johnston’s BBC identification card. The group, now using one of al Qaeda-Palestine’s names, is also holding the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit. The statement says: “We demand from Britain that it release our prisoners and particularly the Palestinian Sheikh Abu Qatada, and in this regard we do not forget our prisoners in other infidel countries.” The tape threatened: “We say to all of them free our prisoners or we will do the same to you. We won’t make an exception for anyone, If you need money t release our prisoners will give you all you need up to the last dirham we have.”
debkafile reported on May 4 Al Qaeda-Palestine’s demands for $5 m cash, 10 Muslim terror conspirators jailed in Britain and a female terrorists jailed in Jordan for the release of the BBC reporter, kidnapped eight weeks ago in Gaza.
UK consul Richard Makepeace met Hamas PM Ismail Haniya Tuesday to discuss his fate. debkafile reported: No progress has been made since his capture.
Appealing to Haniya is fruitless since he has no control of or access to Johnston. There is a widening rift between Hamas and al Qaeda-Palestine which holds him.
Makepeace stated that his meeting with the Hamas prime minister was confined to the single issue of the BBC reporter and did not breach the international boycott of Hamas.