It looks like one of the useful idiots just made himself even more useful.
A video claiming to show the kidnapping emerged from Gaza along with a demand by an extremist group to the Hamas government to release two of its leaders arrested last month. The group set a deadline of Friday afternoon, threatening to execute the hostage.
Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, said the abducted man in the video appeared to be one of its activists. She asked that his name be withheld.
Meanwhile, props to AP for including this sentence:
ISM operates in the West Bank and Gaza and is known for trying to prevent the Israeli military from carrying out its missions. Arraf said this activist has been going in and out of Gaza for more than two years.
Update: The Jerusalem Post has more details on the kidnapped tool.
An Italian human rights activist was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip by the al-Qaida-linked radical terrorist group Tawhid wal-Jihad, the group announced on Thursday.
The radical Islamist terror organization Tawhid wal-Jihad announced on Thursday that it has kidnapped an Italian human rights activist in the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported.
According to sources in the Strip, Victorio Larginoni arrived on one of the first flotillas to Gaza several years ago and has been living there since, according to the report.
In a video released by the group, the captive can be seen blindfolded with his hands tied. Tawhid made an ultimatum to Hamas that if it doesn’t release one of its senior members by 5 p.m. Friday, that it will execute the Italian national, Israel Radio reported
Update: Sky News has more (including a different name for the hostage):
Gaza Militants ‘Will Kill Kidnapped Journalist’
Islamist extremists in Gaza say they have kidnapped a European journalist and will kill him within 30 hours if Hamas do not release a number of Palestinian prisoners.
A Salafist organisation, inspired by al Qaeda, has posted a video of what they claim is an Italian journalist on YouTube tied up and blindfolded.
He is held by the hair and his face looks beaten.
If the claims are true it is the first time in four years that a foreigner has been abducted in Gaza.
When Hamas seized control of the strip, it imposed a zero tolerance policy on the kidnapping of foreigners after securing the release of BBC journalist Alan Johnston who had been held for three months.
The kidnapping is a direct challenge to Hamas by a group espousing a more extreme Islamist ideology.
The video demands the release of what it calls “mujahideen”, or holy warriors who have been arrested by Hamas and are being held in jails in Gaza.
In particular it is calling for the release of a leader or sheikh who was arrested a week ago by Hamas.
Salafist organisations are a constant thorn in the side of Hamas, firing rockets out of Gaza in contravention of a ceasefire imposed by Hamas and calling on Hamas to launch a more aggressive form of resistance against Israel.
The video names the captive as Italian called Vittorio Arriogoni.
He is thought to have arrived in Gaza as part of an aid convoy in 2008 and has since become famous in Italy for his passionate defence of Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
He was one of the few western journalists to have reported from Gaza during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2009 when Israel imposed a draconian ban on foreign reporters entering the narrow coastal enclave.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has been given little more than a day to comply with the group’s demands.
Update: I’ve managed to locate the following videos of Arriogoni.
More videos here.
I somehow don’t think the terrorists are going to be so enamored with those tattoos and eyebrow ring.
Update: Here’s the video of him released by the terrorists.
Update: The Palestinian Press Agency is suggesting Israel is behind his kidnapping!
Update: An example of Arriogoni’s brand of journalism.
Update: In this blog post, Arriogoni minimized the capture of Gilad Shalit by palestinian “commandos” (at least according to the auto-translation). Oh, the irony.
Update: Moronic “peace activists” have launched a petition demanding his release. Because everyone knows, terrorists are influenced by petitions.
Update: Comment left on an anti-Israel blog regarding the kidnapping.
Horrible it is indeed. But perspective, perspective.
The Salafists (first I’ve heard of them, but who am I?) are retail kidnappers. Israel kidnaps wholesale. Keep a comparative eye open, always. In a way, the siege of Gaza is a kidnapping (or cruel detention) of 1.5M people.
Update: Judging by how Arriogoni reacted to being detained by the IDF a few years ago, I’d say he’s not faring too well right about now (hat tip: Alana)
Manifestly violating every human and civil right and against every international law, I spent the last six hours with Andrew locked in a piggish toilette full of fleas and parasites and without drinking water. This was the treatment we received because we announced a hunger strike in order to ask for the restitution of the fishing boats stolen to Palestinian fishermen offshore Gazan coasts when we were kidnapped by Israeli soldiers.
They took away the telephones we were given yesterday by our lawyer but, even more shameful and clearly violating international laws, they prevented us from getting in touch with our lawyers and with our consulates even though Andrew and I asked for it tenaciously many times.
In order to report these regrettable events I had to stop my hunger strike so that I could have back my telephone and pass on this reporting. Based on what I could hear before they separated us, Andrew will keep staying in that cell (absolutely non compliant with every standard of every convention about detention and human rights) as long as he will continue his hunger strike.
The detention I lived today and Andrew is still living can be considered a real torture more than a punishment.
It’s more than probable that Darlene, who is continuing her hunger strike, is suffering the same inhuman treatment.
I’m about to report this seriously severe event to the Italian, the Scottish and the American consulates.
It’s important being constantly informed about mental and physical conditions of our friends.
Tomorrow I will have to turn to urgent medical treatments to cure dozens of bites from insects and parasites which attack me every night leaving my body full of sores.
Vittorio Arrigoni, kidnapped in an Israeli prison in Ramle.
Update: I signed the petition (see signature 333)
Update: See my latest post for updates in the wake of his death.