HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

'al-Qaeda Rejects' Kidnapped Centanni & Wiig in Gaza

A report from Olaf Wiig's native New Zealand states that 'Al Qaeda rejects' held the FOX News journalists in Gaza.

Kiwi cameraman Olaf Wiig's captors were al Qaeda rejects facing a backlash from their own people for the kidnapping, his family have been told.

He said the Archbishop of Canterbury's peace envoy, Canon Andrew White, who has helped to rescue hostages in the Middle East before, alerted [Wiig's father] on Sunday morning of the pair's imminent release.

Mr White had told the family the kidnappers were members of Hamas who broke away and tried unsuccessfully to form links with al Qaeda.

Mr White's group had helped the kidnappers' families to rebuild their houses. "That would have given some goodwill," Mr Wiig said.

The family had been told that the pair's claim to have converted to Islam was an attempt to keep themselves safe.

"Once they declared themselves as Muslim, their kidnappers had a responsibility to look after them," Mr Wiig said. [Emphasis added]

Perhaps this is why it was earlier reported that Palestinian officials (read: Hamas officials) knew who the captors were all along. Perhaps it is worth repeating a section of our earlier report on Centalnni & Wiig's release:

Disturbingly, Haaretz reports that “senior Palestinian security officials said Sunday the name [Holy Jihad Brigades] was a front for local militants, and that Palestinian authorities had known the identity of the kidnappers from the start.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh went one step further, suggesting that not only were the kidnappers local Palestinians, but that al-Qaeda has zero presence in Gaza or the West Bank. Said Haniyeh, “The kidnappers have no link to al-Qaeda or any other organization or faction. al-Qaeda as an organization does not exist in the Gaza Strip.”

While the terrorists who abducted Wiig and Centanni may well have been local Palestinians, the position that there is zero al-Qaeda presence in Gaza or the West Bank runs counter to both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian intelligence statements earlier in the year.