Saturday, 1 August 2009

Americans vanish - then reappear

The news that 3 Americans had been kidnapped reached us yesterday, long before it filtered down to the rest of the world. It happened just 30 mins from here in an area I have been to recently. At first we heard they had been kidnapped, possibly by ansar al islam who once held the area as a stronghold. This remains a possibility despite the fact they are now in the hands of the Iranians. Iran has many agents in the region, indeed in this very city, and westerners are worth a lot of money, so it is still conceivable they were taken and sold on. We don’t know at the moment and probably never will.
In fact we do not really know who they are. Journalists, tourists, or military? I have heard all three and have evidence for a couple.

I spent the day on their trail – from here anyway. Have been to their hotel and spoken to people who’s paths they crossed, or people who saw them. I have been from bureau to bureau, paper to paper and on. It is amazing how this network of sources works. All the villages in the mountains have spies of some sort or other and everything works its way back to us.

I played football today and really must get in shape. I was also guest of the week on a political talk show. Don't they know I only came for the weather?

A lot is happening here and I am upset to be leaving soon.

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