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CDN Hostage James Loney Rescued by SAS in Iraq

vonGarvin

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Great to hear that the three surviving hostages from the Christian Peacekeeper Team were freed.  RIP to the poor US citizen who was murdered.
Quote from Jack Straw, UK Foreign Secretary:
"It is the result of a team effort involving military and civilian personnel from a number of countries, including, let me say, Canadian personnel who I was able to meet when I was in Baghdad last."
(things that make you go "hmmmm")
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2006/03/23/1501453-ap.html
 

Patrolman

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The sad point about this great day is the response of the Cristian Peacemakers. They are using this opportunity to criticize the forces in Iraq. The same forces responsible for freeing their colleagues. Their spokesperson makes it sound as if they were simply let walk away by their captors,which is highly unlikely since the American hostage was tortured  and killed last week.
Things that make you go hmmm. The media is saying that the Canadians involved were the RCMP. Not likely in my opinion since it was a military OP.
In summary it is too bad that the military is being slammed in the media by Christian Peacemakers. It would be nice if they would just be thankful to the men and women in uniform and leave their views at home for a while.
 

vonGarvin

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Patrolman said:
Things that make you go hmmm. The media is saying that the Canadians involved were the RCMP. Not likely in my opinion since it was a military OP.
Hey, it could be the RCMP.  After all, they too have battle honours :D

But, perhaps it was some sort of diplomatic involvement?  Just speculation on my part.  Perhaps even Harper himself showed up? ;D


Anyway, kudos to those fellows, and since that Christian Peacemaker dude wasn't even "over there" at the time of the rescue, well, I could probably give a just as accurate account of what happened
 

Devlin

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Patrolman said:
The sad point about this great day is the response of the Cristian Peacemakers.
In summary it is too bad that the military is being slammed in the media by Christian Peacemakers. It would be nice if they would just be thankful to the men and women in uniform and leave their views at home for a while.

Not an exact line of comparison but this is my 2 cents on the response of the Christian Peacemakers....

A Canadian Soldier was attending some university courses between deployments. He had completed 2 tours in Bosnia, and just returned from Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist.

One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Soldier got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and punched him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The Soldier went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Soldier and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Soldier calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting Canada's Soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid things and act like a moron, so He sent me."



 

noneck

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Patrolman- Who better to conduct hostage negotiations than those that practice it on a regular basis. The only negotiator course that I am aware of in Canada is the one run by the Canadian Police College. Several RCMP negotiators have been decorated, for past operations conducted in Central/South America.

Last week on Ex Cougar Salvo, police negotiators were utilized during the Relief Convoy scenarios. The divide between law enforcement operations and military operations in both domestic and international settings is growing closer very quickly. One only needs to look at the involvement of the RCMP with the present PRT in Kandahar to view it in real time. :cdn:
 

Patrolman

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I am not saying that the RCMP were not involved in some way. What I am saying is I doubt they were involved in the actual raid to free the hostages. I guess right now no one really knows the full story. Some media sources say they were released others say they snatched in a military operation. Time will tell!
So others don't take me the wrong way I will clarify something. I myself am a devout Christian,I in no way think that the Christian Peacemaker teams are wrong in their mission. The problem I have is that their spokesman spent most of his news conference condemning the Allied forces in Iraq. I feel that he could be a little more thankful towards the military, at least for today.
 

tomahawk6

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They are an anti-war outfit. They would have criticized the military no matter what happened.
 

Cliff

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Happy to hear that the hostage situation is resolved and that they are no longer in the hands of fanatics. My condolances to the family of the American  hostage.
 

Franko

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Devlin.....

That's an oldie but a goodie, it's been around for a few years now. 

It originally started as an American....but it still makes me chuckle  ;)

As for the hostages, glad to see they got out in one piece...too bad about their colleague.

I stated earlier in another post that they were as good as dead....I'm glad I'm wrong.

*sounds of chewing*

My...that crow is some good today. 

Now preliminary reports earlier this morning...as in 0400 ish EST said that it was the Brits who did the deed.

I'm sure we'll find out by end play today.

Regards

Regards
 

Teddy Ruxpin

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CBC is reporting that the CF was involved, but obviously for OPSEC reasons there won't be a lot more in the way of detail.  Henry Champ is on the tube right now saying that the Yanks are reporting it as a "joint UK/Canadian SF operation".  FWIW.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/03/23/hostages060323.html

CPT had called for no military rescue early on, so I find it somewhat ironic that they're in the media this morning crowing about the "release".  I have zero sympathy for these "activists", who chose to enter a war zone to conduct political activity and who have used the rescue as yet another means to pass along their rather dubious viewpoint.

TR
 

Franko

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Wow....criticizing the forces that rescued their comrades, during their pompous.... holier than thou speech.

Next time...let 'em get out on their own.

Regards

 

George Wallace

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Just a quick trip back to this comment:

vonGarvin said:
"It is the result of a team effort involving military and civilian personnel from a number of countries, including, let me say, Canadian personnel who I was able to meet when I was in Baghdad last."
(things that make you go "hmmmm")

That statement, doesn't necessarily mean that they were physically in Iraq.  I am sure numerous Police Agencies, Interpol, and Intelligence Agencies were involved in numerous countries.  End result as witnessed today. 

As for the CPT....well...that is gratitude for you.  ::)
 

DSB

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I do not support the Iraq war. 

I’m also very much against these sorts of peacemaking civilian organizations running into war zones.  They knew the risk walking in; we’ve seen and heard of many beheadings and murders.  I think it's BS that other people, (soldiers), have to get evolved with these operations and  risk their lives to save people like this.

DSB
 

vonGarvin

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George Wallace said:
Just a quick trip back to this comment:
That statement, doesn't necessarily mean that they were physically in Iraq.  I am sure numerous Police Agencies, Interpol, and Intelligence Agencies were involved in numerous countries.  End result as witnessed today. 
As for the CPT....well...that is gratitude for you.   ::)
Ah, but it does.  Jack said he met them when he was in Iraq.  Unless, of course, he was on the border with say Kuwait, standing on one side, they on the other :D


 

Whiskey_Dan

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George Wallace said:
Just a quick trip back to this comment:

That statement, doesn't necessarily mean that they were physically in Iraq.  I am sure numerous Police Agencies, Interpol, and Intelligence Agencies were involved in numerous countries.  End result as witnessed today. 

As for the CPT....well...that is gratitude for you.   ::)
Actually, CBC seems to be reporting differently, might want to take a read. I couldn't believe it myself.


Dan
 

Daniel San

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Latest developments :

"Maj.-Gen Rick Lynch said no kidnappers were at the house when multinational forces entered to release the hostages.

Members of Canada's top secret commando unit, Joint Task Force 2, had been in Iraq working in tandem with British troops, said officials. It's not clear how many were in Iraq, but they have been in the country for some time."

Found it on the cbc website:

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/03/23/hostages060323.html
 

George Wallace

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Daniel San said:
Members of Canada's top secret commando unit, Joint Task Force 2, had been in Iraq working in tandem with British troops, said officials. It's not clear how many were in Iraq, but they have been in the country for some time."

Found it on the cbc website:

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/03/23/hostages060323.html

Exactly.  I will not confirm, nor deny, the fact that we may have 'people' in Iraq, in 'some capacity'.  Whether or not they were physically at the location of the Rescue, is not stated clearly.  They could have been partaking in the Rescue, from as far away as Ottawa or 'somewhere in Virginia'.  The 'end product' is what is relevant.
 

Scoobie Newbie

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I wonder what the NDP will have to say about Canadian Military allegedly being in Iraq.

http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060323/hostages_freed_060323

Canadian, British peace hostages freed in Iraq
CTV.ca News Staff

Two Canadian aid workers and a British colleague held hostage in Iraq for nearly four months were freed Thursday during a multinational military operation involving Canadian special forces.

The freed aid workers include Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, and Briton Norman Kember, 74.

CTV News has learned that Canada's elite Joint-Task Force 2 was involved in the rescue in western Baghdad.

"We're told that Canadian special forces and British special forces played a very key role," CTV's Robert Fife told Newsnet.

The Defence Department refuses to confirm Canadian military involvement in the operation.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, speaking in London, said the Mounties were also involved in the rescue, but an RCMP spokesman would not confirm that.

The three aid workers -- all members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams -- had been held hostage since late November, when they were kidnapped at gunpoint.

Loney's brother, Ed, speaking this morning on CTV's Canada AM, said he was "elated" by the news of their release.

Also kidnapped was American Tom Fox, 54, whose bullet-riddled body was found on a Baghdad street on March 10, just days after his captors released a video in which he was ominously missing.

"It's a bittersweet joy for us as we also grieve the loss of Tom Fox," said Doug Pritchard, co-chair of the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

The military operation

The operation to free the three aid workers was carried out early Thursday. U.S. and British forces broke into a house in western Baghdad and freed the hostages, according to Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch.

The hostages were freed without a shot being fired, Lynch added. They were bound, and held together. Their captors were not present.

Lynch said the operation to free the three hostages in Iraq was based on information from a man who was captured by U.S. forces last night.

Only three hours passed from the time rescuers learned the exact whereabouts of the hostages and when the raid took place, he said.

However, Straw said planning for the operation had been in the works for "weeks and weeks" but gave few details.

"I'm delighted that now we have a happy ending to this terrible ordeal," Straw said.

Terrorism expert Alan Bell said most likely special forces would have been involved in this rescue.

"Hostage rescue technique is a very fine process, and only highly-trained people can perform this," Bell told CTV Newsnet.

"Although it turned to this was a lot less sort of hostile then was probably originally anticipated, the fact is you can't send unseasoned people in to do this type of operation."

Family 'elated'

The families of the hostages appealed several times for the release of the men. They relied on a series of videotapes broadcast on the al-Jazeera network to keep hope alive. Then today, word finally came of their release.

Ed Loney said his parents called him at around 1 a.m. to let him know that his brother was safe.

"I thought it was a dream, and I kind of shook my head for a second. I realized that, no, it really is true. He's coming home. That's how that all played out -- in a really beautiful dream for once."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he has spoken with the two Canadian hostages, and said their release is "wonderful news."

"The safe return of these men is what we all sought, and I want to thank all those here in Canada and around the world who have worked so tirelessly to secure their safe release."

He also offered his condolences to Fox's family.

Straw, who announced the release of the hostages earlier today, said Fox's death is "a matter of great sorrow to everybody that he was killed a little while ago."

The freed hostages are at the British Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.

The kidnapping

The four aid workers were kidnapped Nov. 26. Just a few days later, a previously-unknown group calling itself the Swords of Righteousness Brigades claimed responsibility for the abduction in a videotaped aired on the al-Jazeera television network.

In a second videotape released Dec. 2, the group threatened to kill the hostages by Dec. 8 if all Iraqi detainees were not released from U.S. and British detention facilities by Dec. 8.

The deadline was later extended to Dec. 10, but it passed without word on the fate of the aid workers.

The last time the four hostages were seen together was in a silent videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera on Jan. 28. A voice-over on the tape called it the "last chance" for authorities to release Iraqi prisoners.

A videotape broadcast on al-Jazeera on March 7 did not show Fox. The other three aid workers were shown apparently calling on their governments to help them.

At least 235 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq and nearly 40 have been killed over the past two years. Most have been released, although a number are still missing.

With files from The Canadian Press

 
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