This story continues to get crazier and crazier. Recall that Susan Osthoff is the German woman who got herself “kidnapped” in Iraq and was then let go immediately following the release of the terrorist Mohammed Ali Hammadi. More here in my earlier post.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) — Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country’s intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday.
The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad.[…]One Washington-based German source said Osthoff had been working on arranging a rendezvous with an al-Qaida member on behalf of a German intelligence agent in Iraq. Whether the meeting ever took place has not been revealed, but another source in Berlin, reached by telephone, said experts believed that the kidnapping may have been the work of a rival group, possibly within the same organization.
A day after Osthoff’s release, the Germans had quietly freed and sent home to his native Lebanon Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Hezbollah militant serving a sentence for killing a U.S. Navy diver in a hijacked TWA jetliner in 1985. Berlin officials denied any connection between Osthoff’s release and Hamadi’s after serving only 19 years of a life sentence.[…]But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff’s release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The ransom and Hamadi’s release could well constitute a double embarrassment for Merkel on her scheduled “maiden” visit to Washington next week. Washington has always opposed pay ransom money on the grounds that it encourages more kidnapping.
So now not only was this terrorist who tortured and killed one of our soldiers released for this sack of dung, but they paid money to get her back also. Money to help finance the deaths of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis. Wonderful.