tv Doc Film - The End of Truth - The Hostages of Islamic State Deutsche Welle March 23, 2018 2:15am-3:00am CET
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that's a good they gave great to. come upon. but. no. one we went into a lot but the king of november is means my stuff for the fixture and jim and john we were really looking at how the front lines looked in the city it's become a very entrenched war in which sort of stalemate on many fronts the problem may be one of. the yellow million of you folks you know. we don't make a. move yet you go up to the building we move jobs and then i started having issues with my camera and had to return to stamboul so. jim and john wanted
to continue on to live where they also want to look at you know the front lines the fighting and also john had to finish the story on his first kidnapping. so i decided to go back to stamboul for that week and they were in the. words i go back roads driving here is the absolute for the. funding of heads through the church doors. really small. see if there was a comic spirit to post one old. syrian army checkpoint at that point i think a lot of journalists just shrug their shoulders in terms of. well we were really afraid of the bombs and bullets but we started to get worried about the kidnappings because of how many foreign fighters were there.
because there hadn't been writing many kidnappings at that time there was this false sense of security and just this idea that you know we can still freely travel inside but i think when we started seeing a prevent about about abductions. looking people. we go it was there waiting for us to grow through authority so to speak with james. those are we are coming now to cross. the border and she called me he asked me what's happened mosul
where are you waiting for. i don't. they didn't send you on and you don't know where they are right now when we are looking for that there were there were no demands there had been no ransom calls at least when someone calls for ransom you know what they want and you know that there may be a way of solving this but when people are just disappearing for months and months and months with no news for very scary the whole situation kind of fell on me if felt that there is this huge responsibility for a german johns lives and their lives are in my hands because if i got one call from the captors i wonder what would i do you know what would i do to fall for this happening to you know major flesh and hold every word and i'm going back there i mean i kind of stopped. try to put your good chicks all together you know because she has such a special interest groups. the
first you know twelve to twenty four hours it's really crucial and so i think i jumped into this very systematic practical mode you know i created spider charts and other journalists were helping me feel uncertain gaps and there was so many possibilities of who was responsible so maybe it will be. we. know what. some people will be. you know. maybe they've been taken by the government or as a criminals was it as a mess was a rebel brigades with and agenda that they would only come out with later you know
so it was just really looking into a black hole and not knowing who was valid or nah. the government didn't really get involved until about two weeks after their kidnapping and even then it wasn't really like they were going to take over it was just trying to gather information from from me and my sources but the problem was that the people all they sent to me. seemed like junior officers and didn't seem particularly gung ho about getting him home. on the twenty second of november their woke at around nine am they went to the storm internet cafe where james foley skype nicole tone. is stayed about twenty five minutes then left the cafe in
a taxi stuff they did not notice anybody following them as they started to turn left onto the unpaved road a silver hyundai van drove up alongside them and pulled in front of them. as the van was driving up my stuff i heard john say don't stop none approach the taxi shouting in arabic they were pointing their weapons and shouting get down get out they held a kalashnikov to mistah office head he was made to tie john's hands john said to mr hoffa police help not again. john connally story is very unique canty was kidnapped before that as well by this group which was not part of the slum estate yet it was a jihadist group or so country was free and then we came back to the united kingdom
that he was instrumental in a trial against one of the members of this group which was a doctor. who had gone from britain to syria in order to join this organization. where you are part of any of the groups that were operating in that area at the time i was not attached to any group i was a doctor who was given protection by everyone and for five days i treated him for his injuries now the reasons for his injuries and what happened with him had nothing to do with me the only part i had the only role or who don't count me and jerome ornaments in two thousand and twelve was i was a doctor attending to my patients well you know what we obvious was.
in syria. and also in the border areas of turkey felt that these two guys that they were arrested because of what don't kill he told the police which may be untrue but that was the perception i was quite surprised how how it could be that i see two guys in a war zone give them medical treatment and then they get me arrested but it turns out that these two witnesses never never did give any evidence against me nor did they even request for me to be arrested. where john and james started because of the story. and then think they were targeted because of the story but the fact that john by that time was a. more or less well known journalist as a good risk for them was. slightly higher than for just another journalist i think . so it's. current you need live which is only five kilometers to our
west we've been trying to get into it live for a few days now but it's part of the roads just just is no way it's not secure but we'll keep trying. i had a theory of that maybe the people who were involved with john's first kidnapping and who remained in syria not the ones who went back to the u.k. were responsible and because they were quite visible as foreign journalists spending their time in the in live region the same region where john had promised and being kidnapped and then being in in a public internet cafe for three hours filing you know anybody could have done a search about his case and seen his phone or come up on google which made them targets immediately thank you. we posted with several key was probably about. forty guys who are
so thanks. which was an ideal we've now got a motorway directly off left which come across because it's a motorway there's a footbridge but they've got two t. seventy two right the next the foot bridge so we've basically walked into. a bad area so time for tea in those discussions where is nato going to go kalashnikov but . certainly so far with this crew because this is going nowhere it's not. so pressing out of here is safe this week. there are a couple stories of them being recognised in the level ready you know like this. why the u.k. joe was all over the news when we when we can back it is it was a lot of for joe biden and it was it could be recognized and i think. there were
a lot of. jihadi rebels from the u.k. in syria as well. there. with the with news from the u.k. . well it's been that actually recognized. at the beginning of november john jim and i and our stuff. took a trip into a lot i gather. we didn't go to a frontline in one of the neighborhoods that the rebels were holding. at that time in two thousand and twelve we knew that there were foreign jihadi is coming into syria. and we've gotten out so many times that we thought we're getting out again and one of the red flags is just staying in one place too long these very little
calculations can make a huge difference. in our kidnap and that's. the worst case of media affairs and free syrian army was was instrumental in getting us out and that results in the end clashes between f.s.a. and in geology groups. of the jihadi group that captured us. and resulted in some cash to casualties in their ports as well so you know where there were people out for revenge i think do you think the men that that stopped you do you think they knew who john and james you. i see yes i see i see yes because they took my yard and they. said ok leave now i do you think. yes people who say like why did he have to go
back to the same place that we were captured and. i said i've done understand that . heater. i went to the same spot but the thing was it was such an unremarkable stretch of road where they were kidnapped i was able to find the approximate location where they were taken because most often our fixer was able to describe pretty clearly where it had happened we did a slow drive through the area for about five or six minutes and the whole time i just kept thinking how bizarre it was and how unremarkable that area was and what it must have felt like for both jim and john at the time i didn't know if there
were witnesses and i wondered if there was anybody who was standing by watching what was happening at the time yeah i just kept thinking how weird it was but i think when i saw the place i just had this sense that maybe i wouldn't see them again. work for us was a journalist and we were looking hard at me we had investigators you know on the syria. turkey border for months asking everybody they could phone in going into syria talking to people there and all we got was denials and they were explicit denials from jarvis groups. they were identified this islamic state isis they must have been lying. appears in retrospect.
how do you know. with whom you were. jumps fully and warm. yes. you have. are their eyes ears themselves who could not do with you where with drums or. but i didn't understand why it's dangerous to talk in the form. yeah yeah translation. no use lying think. so when baghdadi announced the formation of isis in syria in april two thousand and
thirteen our laps he became the wily of aleppo which meant he oversaw all islamic state activities within province that was the province where most journalists were going and i was the problem province in which most journalists made workers were ultimately kidnapped there was an unbelievable spike in abductions from the moment absi was in charge of aleppo. when the kidnapping all locals became grampound right from the beginning of the civil war everybody was kidnapping reach syrians in order to fund their own fights they started kidnapping foreigners too and of course all day well to syrians had moved out so at that point the foreigners became if there is a good way to fun there is again it's asians who kidnapped john connally or james
foley and sell it to another organization for maybe ten thousand dollars maximum saying amount of small money but of course different kind of people. it's a look you know from sauvignon sort of yeah that's the it is just when i saw the sudden out of one hundred thirteen wasn't sofie i don't know how the surgeon who would manage it but you see the. fish on the saudia can mean something small mom and the gee why me going to bed leave the floor with energy body talking only to. me. it appears that at some point in time islamic state decided that they wanted to
aggregate as many of these western hostages as they could. maybe they thought they would be valuable in the manner that they did become valuable maybe they thought they would be a bargaining chip in some other way it's been suggested that it was a matter of prestige you know the group that had the most western hostages was the most successful most powerful and the fact that they made no effort to communicate for an entire year. you know it's surprising. also looks. like i'm. not surprised. that it will. happen. because he thought the unit john savino john and ken freeman on the infancy and i need some of the same you don't
dance even on any jews forty stephen bits with avi and then you can see sofie almost sort of model. one of. the young recruits from belgium you don't think whoever wrote about for the new yorker magazine got cold feet on arrival she ended up being a hostage if the group you tried to join and eventually he long after isis formed she ended up in the same prison cell in aleppo as james foley cannily and a german hostage named tony newkirk john and james told you that they'd been kidnapped initially by just an extra and then they were traded among four or five locations before ending up in the hospital aleppo which was under isis control presumably on every move they were blindfolded and all the rest so we don't really know who who was in charge of each move but at
a certain point they were isis hostages. that was november of two thousand and thirteen hard on that we got the first e-mail from the kidnappers that was sort of a watershed moment for us that we knew that it was him. that he was alive and that we were dealing with the people who had him. but we knew little about them and. and then they went silent within a relatively short time after that. time is a is a tool that is malleable you can use it for as long as you want you can call somebody or reach out to somebody and wait two months before you do it again where you can wait three months before you ever reach out to him and then an intense negotiation goes on where it's almost daily contact or sporadic or intermittent contact and all these things are tools that the kidnappers use on them more experience for the
kidnapping group the better they are using any quote any combination of these tools to pressure to get the result that they're looking for the united states government will not make concessions such as paying ransom to terrorist groups holding american hostages and i know this can be a subject of significant. public debate it's a difficult and emotional issue especially for the families with the european hostages. in almost every case or in every case their governments were directly involved in negotiations may or may not have paid all or some of the ransom and in every case the islamic state. release the hostage killing a french also was not going to achieve what they wanted to achieve. killing an american else and because the u.s. and the u.k. ever and also this attitude towards hostages we do not need to shame to this simple
fact at this some also just were released and auditors were not also exposed to the war the double standards those who are in the hostage taking business because it is a business decide they're going to go after the french and italians and the spanish or others because they know they can get money for them if the government says we will negotiate for the release of our people than any terror group not only in the middle east but anywhere in the world understands that if you should have an american the government will associate with you which then opens the open season on diplomats on international business people and everything so the government must say no we will not negotiate america not your run down the. road a lot of damage and to know that i'm going to have by making sure we're not
going to fund some part of. the u.s. . position now as we prefer to do this militarily you know black hawk helicopters joint special operations command units going in and trying to do rescue. but track record there is not very good. ironing you know where they're being held on their final place like. well special forces that are able.
it's expensive it's dangerous and it didn't succeed. the special operations forces that you go to certain areas they were engaged and they captive or captives are there was a war and what are we really accomplishing how timely is that intelligence is this new news this is old news what are the chances they've been moved since you last got intelligence out what are the risks to u.s. personnel going in to try to effect way to rescue what are the risks to other civilians who may be in the vicinity you don't want to send in a lot of special forces that risk getting them killed particularly if your information may be stale on the hostage may not even be there they pretty much knew that they weren't there but they said thin team of seals or whoever to but rescue them i don't think so they sent them in there to get their cell phones to get their
laptops to get the files to get everything that was there that they could use and that's what that mission was about if it took place i mean we were moved every two weeks to a month and this mission took place months and months and months after you know the french of the spanish whoever was up with the information back that they were there fell into their hands certainly a rescue mission is high risk not just for the special ops guys but also for the hostages why they waited. until july to do it. i think there's a lot of questions that i have about this why would that be classified as a successful mission. well i guess it depends on how broadly defined successful it wasn't successful in the sense of being able to rescue the hostage was successful in the sense people got and then they got out and no one got captured or killed so
it was only chance john jim and john i mean washington you are right larry very teacher letter is in the internet is girls. here are eager to get. over thirty years much much more you. have to check if you're john conflict and james foley were kidnapped in two thousand and twelve and until two thousand and fourteen that there were no use a tool then all of a sudden they became a propaganda tool for the islamic state that all self an instrument of foreign policy.
they said they would execute him in retaliation for the u.s. bombing which had begun a relatively short time before. they demanded hundred million dollars for james foley was the complicity that they. one. by killing him which polls after the fact showed that this event was the single most well known and that event among americans across the board since nine eleven was that publicity worth more to them than one hundred million dollars. i think. whether or not they predicted the reaction would be quite so strong. from that point forward i imagine they had very
little interest in and read something anyone whatever they would say negotiating with islamic state was unique. and never happened before was extremely difficult because it was a new territory i mean never before and it dead also been worth more than i live also. i sophists released a video which is believed to show the execution of american freelance journalist james foley the video also shows another freelance journalist identified as thought law and islamic state members in the video said that software will be next.
steve is the contact me to do some more inside syria about civilian situation in the morning i go to pick up him from the border to inside to inside aleppo it's what some people three cars rate us on the road and they lift the cars and they close the street and they kidnapped us and once you're on the syrian side and you get into a car and start driving you're on a single road for about a thirty minute window during which there is no path but the one you're on and everyone knows and if someone calls ahead and says ok look. there's a time line of like ok it's good he's going to be at this checkpoint in this many minutes can be at that one and that many minutes he's going to get in to a van with a fixer everyone knows like here are the six or seven fixers that often take journalists from this checkpoint. so you know spying on the fixers is probably a more efficient way than spying on the journalists from the beginning when i was
in that inside the guard i told king do them who is you what do you want. they hit us they hit me in in the gun and they say to reshift off the dog also i mean dead inside the brazen what they said to me shut up don't talk. on top of it all we were trying to figure out what was going on by contacting lots of people but also trying to keep a lid on it because. the family wanted a media blackout while we try to negotiate whatever it is that isis wants or at that point whoever took him once but we all knew it was isis i mean. yeah. stuff was that was really tough.
in the latter half of two thousand and fourteen absi was in charge of isis his media wing and that's when they started releasing all the beheading videos so she had and that is the state department has said that she was in charge of kidnappings for the islamic state so. it's unclear surely there were other people involved but she seems to have been. in a leadership position at every step from abduction to moving hostages from the prison in aleppo to iraq to later than medio in which was releasing the beheading videos to the in the remnants of the ancient regime what i like to call the ghosts of saddam are in effect running the show this is why isis is sophisticated at the level of guerrilla warfare why it is sophisticated at the level of conventional warfare but most especially why it's propaganda is profoundly clever and wicked you
know the information warfare that isis brings to bear is one of their their greatest assets in this campaign and if you want to really go back far think of it this way the guys who trained up to saddam this were through the soviets the k.g.b. so they know how to do this stuff. there was never really. any willingness to exchange. the
u.s. and the u.k. on switches there was no willingness to exchange the japanese hostages the demands for the japanese us cities were far too high or too much too under the million dollars to be delivered in seventy two hours that's impossible they knew that this was possible but the propaganda. campaign was fantastic i mean these la mixtape got inside japan. e conditions in the zisha in japan are related to the changing of our civil mind of the cause situation which is they are seeing the prohibits japan from intervening me tie on this is under attack. now that was a key issue of the debate this is something that prime minister abbott and then trying to push for seven months so is that if say knew that this is onyx
a good well this is fantastic we can use it for our propaganda that we can influence japan we can scare that was done and then during this period they just dania pilot who is also capture. first they said she was killed by jordanian warplane in a building that she was being kept but now there is some indication they're saying actually you know what this american girl converted to islam and we buried her with
you know she married an islamic fighter and we buried her with sort of the you know the muslim veil and all these what do they say they're saying this woman who came over saw the true ways of isis so the true path of islam converted became one of us rejected you and your deprived western society and then you killed her anyway so her blood is on your hands so very powerful. that everyone has to believe it and after it will have to believe. jobbies believe they watch these videos and they're intoxicated they're in thrall but three. i know what you're thinking you see. because he's a prisoner he's going to go. and he's going to be forced to do write one of them is true. or isn't that sorry china is in the. city has been banned by my government and my feet noise in the city was no mistakes i have nothing to lose
maybe for a soldier on a pier on a limb here and i was also did the first sign of life the soul of him was a relief and terrifying experience that sent on at least he was alive i mean what he was saying was and wasn't. well to all fall in november two thousand and twelve i came to syria where i was subsequently captured by do small mix states now nearly two years later many things changed including the expansion of the islamic state to include large areas of eastern syria and western iraq john kennedy appeared in a number of isis videos effectively serving as a narrator or almost appearing as a corresponding under duress join me for the next few programs and i think you may be surprised at what you know. personally i think they made john the spokes
person for these propaganda videos partly to make a mockery of him i don't know it's very hard to say the psychology behind all of this but there are people that are accusing jones and joining lies is we just want to say to them they sure legalize they doso as lot of gun point do they even if you can see it but i mean as as soon. he loses his use for them i mean if soon as there's no purpose for him being alive i mean he's finished so the only thing he can do is just an on for for love sake and data best he can to to please them try to bring their message across innocent his nose is message and in order for him to make it out alive yes to bring that message as best as he can look at the care and the quality that goes into these videos way better than al qaeda way better than zarko we could do in two thousand and five six so you know i mean it's just part of
the the apparatus can't really actually sat in in one of these videos is it you know i know because my possibly the u.k. past time. i would hope be released and my government's use of mountainy so you know these is in terms of protocol that they're a very powerful very thick which also means that they know exactly what's happened here they know what we think that because of course you know they are also people they were born and brought topping our countries that we're going to fight with them. now we have seventy two i was. in need you know wise decision by two hundred million to secure the lives of people citizens otherwise it's not. what we're seeing emerge that.
a jihad a civil war a jihad is competition for one upmanship and funder stealing it is being played out in the streets of europe. and the propaganda is feeding that as well. so it was a. truly. it ends with him interviewing a french judge hadi who has joined isis who speaks in fluent french and he says basically if you can't come here you can't make the here's route to join the islamic state stay where you are in the west and do jihad there. i mean what more can be said you know this is not this is an international campaign this is not confined just to the levant and mesopotamia watching the videos and knowing john it's bizarre to kind of connect the person who i know and also the
person who is now on you know the you tube video if you do not have the possibility to negotiate and the nation at the moment how can you get him out. if they think that keeping him alive to make tapes that bring more recruits. is actually bringing more recruits keep him alive and the moment that they decide that he's useless. yeah i opie it calls back one around me i see the. chances of that actually happening. in there quite slim. and. i think yes yes written that us will live.
true golf like we take football personally. so well the fold will feel a little chill russia one play is already bad for this year brown forbes from de mint plays in a russian prime yet any america would like to follow i can sign strong economy because allow me a place to buy a laborer who isn't dreams of a sponsor on the wells cup squad. to see. and i think one day this war will be considered cruel and unjust war. and certainly all citizens will crain every man woman and child the only friend their homeland is
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