The BBC is worried because one of its reporters has gone missing in Gaza, and some groups have already stepped forward to claim that he’s been kidnapping. This bad news all around. First, I sincerely hope that the reporter is safe and has not been forced to convert. Second, this is one more reminder that reporter’s who don’t toe the Palestinian/jihadist party line to the last jot and tiddle are in danger in the West Bank area. That, in turn, should remind all thinking people to take with a grain of salt any reports that come out of that neck of the woods.
Anyway, let’s just hope that Mr. Johnston is drunk and tackily dressed, rather than in any real danger.
Instant update: Immediately after writing the above, I read that, while the BBC is downplaying Mr. Johnston’s disappearance, the usually very accurate YNET news is saying that he was indeed kidnapped, and has lots of details to support this statement:
Masked Palestinian gunmen kidnapped a BBC reporter from his car in Gaza City on Monday, Palestinian security officials said.The news network said Johnston was from Scotland and has been reporting from Gaza for the past three years.
The man threw a business card on the street that identified him as Alan Johnston of the BBC, officials said. The BBC bureau chief in Jerusalem, Simon Wilson, said his news network had lost contact with Johnston but Wilson could not immediately confirm a kidnapping. Security sources said four gunmen carried out the kidnapping, and that a car was found abandoned near Johnston’s Gaza City apartment. Police found the lease of the rental car, which stated the vehicle was rented to the BBC.
YNET adds that these kidnappings are usually to get something to barter with in internecine feuds between Palestinians, that they happen frequently, and that the reporters are usually released within hours. Yeah, that kind of environment will ensure accurate coverage — not.