Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Curious Sight

Imagine the surprise of German officials at the German embassy in Baghdad when they came across the belongings of a German, Susanne Osthoff, who was taken hostage by Iraqi terrorists and released after a significant ransom was paid.
Part of the ransom money alleged to have been paid by the German government to win the freedom of Iraq hostage Susanne Osthoff last month was found on Osthoff after her release, the German magazine Focus said on Saturday.

Without citing its sources, Focus said officials at the German embassy in Baghdad had found several thousand U.S. dollars in the 43-year-old German archaeologist's clothes when she took a shower at the embassy shortly after being freed.

The serial numbers on the bills matched those used by the government to pay off Osthoff's kidnappers, the magazine said.

Efforts to contact Osthoff for comment through her mother and a friend failed.
Was Osthoff in on the kidnapping plot all along? Quite possibly. Her behavior before and since the kidnapping only heighten the scrutiny on her complicity in the situation. But that's only one part of this story.

The other part is that the German government paroled the murderer of US Navy Diver Robert Stethem two days after Osthoff was released. The timing of that event coincided with Osthoff's release. Coincidence? Who knows, but someone had better explain this better to the family of Stethem. They deserve to know why the Germans released Robert's murderer. Stethem was murdered in a hijacking of a TWA flight in 1985 by Hizbullah. He was singled out, tortured, murdered, and dumped on the tarmac at Beirut's airport when the terrorists' demands were not met.

Hat tip: Killgore Trout [updated] and rednaxala, who posted an article from the German Focus.

There are serious questions as to why Osthoff was permitted to leave without being questioned further on the possession of this money, as well as why she was permitted to keep this money. There are inconsistencies that have to be addressed.

Posted to bRight and Early, Wizbang, and Basil's Blog.

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