If reports from yesterday are true, Alan Johnston would be the the first hostage murdered by Al-Qaeda Palestine.
Journalists hold posters during a protest for the release of kidnapped BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, in Beirut April 16, 2007. The parents of Johnston, kidnapped in Gaza more than a month ago, appealed on Monday for news of his condition after an Islamist group said it had killed him. (REUTERS/Sharif Karim)
Alan Johnston may not be coming home if there is any truth to the leaflet that circulated yesterday in Gaza.
Debka File reported:
In a leaflet circulated in Gaza, Sunday, April 15, Al Tawhid Al Jihad Brigade, a front for al Qaeda Palestine, claimed Sunday to have executed the British reporter “because the world is ignoring the fate of the Palestinian prisoners and needed a bloody message.” No other source confirms the claim. The text added: “We were forced to kill the journalist and will later release a video showing his execution.”
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The group puts the blame on the Palestinian presidency, Palestinian government and British government.” The group will not rest until Palestinian prisoners are released, the leaflet stresses. In the month since Johnston was seized by gunmen in Gaza City, there has been no information at all about his fate.
If the group’s claim is borne out, it will be the first time Al Qaeda- Palestine has put a hostage to death.