You will recall that BBC reporter Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza. He was held captive for four months and then released as an act of “goodwill” by the deranged Palestinian killers – a group that the British government had been in “dialogue” with leading up to his release.
The question NOW being asked if the release from prison this week of Abu Qatada – a radical Islamic cleric once described as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe – part of a deal that Britain made with Gaza-based terrorists for the freedom BBC reporter Alan Johnston?
Speaking from jail last summer, Abu Qatada himself offered to help mediate the prisoner exchange. Hamas sources and Israeli diplomatic sources familiar with the Johnston release talks confirmed to WND last summer there were third-party discussions between Gaza’s Hamas rulers, a mediator and the British government for the release of Johnston. A second track of negotiations were opened between Hamas and the Army of Islam kidnappers, the sources said. Also, the BBC was in direct contact with Hamas, said the sources.
Palestinian sources involved in the Johnston negotiations said Hamas passed to the British government the Army of Islam’s demand for the freedom of Abu Qatada. They also warned if Hamas stormed the Gaza compound in which Johnston was known to have been held, the BBC reporter likely would have been killed during any rescue attempt.
Abu Oubaida, a spokesman for Hamas, would not confirm any deal was reached. The British embassy in Tel Aviv did not return calls for comment on the issue. Officials from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ office said they believe a deal was made for the release of Johnston. They also accused Hamas of paying off the Army of Islam.
So, is it possible that the British government and the BBC have colluded to engineer the release of a BBC journalist by doing a shoddy deal that gets an alleged Islamic terrorist mastermind a “get out of jail free” card? I think we should be told, don’t you? Can we trust the BBC to tell us?