"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Saturday, October 02, 2004
Armed intelligence officers yesterday raided the Amsterdam home of Paul Bigley, the brother of British hostage Ken Bigley, in the hunt for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Arab terrorist group which is believed to be holding him.
An intelligence officer from the Foreign Office is alleged to have accompanied the Dutch intelligence officers during the raid. They seized Mr Bigley's computer and interrogated him about his alleged contacts with the Tawhid and Jihad group, which yesterday claimed responsibility for the Baghdad car bombings that claimed the lives of at least 35 children.
Material from Mr Bigley's computer hard-disk was downloaded and sent back for analysis in Britain and he was also forced to make a five-page statement.
Mr Bigley angrily denied he had any direct contacts with the terrorist group, headed by the Jordanian, who is believed to have personally carried out the beheadings of Kenneth Bigley's two American fellow captives.
He told friends that he was frightened by the raid. "He felt intimidated by their behaviour which was aggressive. He feels as though he is being treated like a criminal," said one ally of the family.
Imagine - this guy's brother was kidnapped by individuals who have shown little hesitation to kill their hostages. He's already been victimized, and now armed intelligence agents have raided his home and confiscated his property. How must he feel? Who can he trust? Who's on his side?
I understand that the British government may have concerns about the efforts Bigley is taking on his own accord to secure his brother's release. Not that the British government seems to be doing anything to help, of course, but still one must recognize that they could have legitimate questions. But - was there really no more sensitive way they could have addressed this? Truly, the mind boggles.