CommunityPam's House Blend

They haven’t offed him yet, but it looks like three of Allawi’s relatives have been kidnapped. If they cannot provide adequate security for state officials, how do you think the average Iraqi feels? (WP):

Gunmen kidnapped a first cousin of interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and two other members of his extended family from their Baghdad home on Tuesday, an Allawi spokesman said Wednesday morning. A militant Islamist group said Wednesday it would execute Allawi’s relatives unless U.S. and Iraqi forces withdraw from Fallujah.

…Allawi spokesman Georges Sada said in a telephone interview that Allawi’s “cousin, his [cousin’s] wife and another relative were kidnapped Tuesday night from their home after a little shooting between their bodyguards and the terrorists.” Another Allawi spokesman, Thaer Hasan Naqip identified the kidnapped cousin as Ghazi Allawi, 75. He said Allawi, his wife and his son were kidnapped in Baghdad’s Yarmouk neighborhood.

Sada said early in the day that no group had taken responsibility for the abduction, and neither the Allawi family nor the interim government had been contacted by the kidnappers.

“Not until now,” Sada said. “No communication.”

Later, however, the Reuters news service reported from Dubai that an Islamist group, Ansar al-Jihad, was claiming responsibility on an Internet site, threatening to kill the relatives in 48 hours unless the raid on Fallujah was halted and prisoners set free. The authenticity of the claim could not be verified.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding