Al-Osthoff Precedent's Consequences

Two German Engineers Kidnapped in Iraq

By PAUL GARWOOD, Associated Press Writer Tue Jan 24, 1:01 PM ET

Gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms kidnapped two German engineers Tuesday in northern Iraq, and British troops detained several police officers among more than a dozen people linked to a series of killings, bombings and kidnappings in the southern city of Basra.

The kidnapped Germans worked at an Iraqi state-owned detergent plant near the oil refinery in Beiji, 155 miles north of Baghdad and were seized by gunmen wearing Iraqi army uniforms, said police Capt. Falah al-Janabi.

The German government confirmed that two young German males from Leipzig had been abducted and a special crisis team has been sent to Iraq to deal with the matter.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Berlin is doing "everything in our power so that we not only receive information, but the hostages will be returned to us safely."

The first German kidnapped in Iraq was Susanne Osthoff, an aid worker and archaeologist who disappeared with her Iraqi driver in northern Iraq on Nov. 25. Her release was announced Dec. 18.

This is no surprise. When the German government pays off these groups, and then releases terrorists in prison, it only shows the terrorists that kidnappings pay. The only way to stop these events is by not negotiating, and betting on the public reaction in the Muslim world turning against the kidnappers after hostages are killed, especially beheaded.

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