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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The lady is a spy

Susanne Osthoff , the german lady that was kidnapped in iraq and whom I accused of suffering from the stockholm syndrome for defending and praising her captors is actually, well, a spy for the german intelligence agency. Imagine that. Susanne Osthoff, the German archeologist kidnapped by Iraqi gunmen on Nov. 25 and released before Christmas was connected with her country's intelligence service, the BND, and had helped arrange a meeting with a top member of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, possibly Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi himself, according to well informed German sources Sunday. The sources confirmed German press reports that the 43-year-old woman had worked for the BND in Iraq on a freelance basis, and had for some time even stayed in a German intelligence safe house in Baghdad. A convert to Islam and a fluent Arabic speaker, Osthoff had lived in Iraq for over a decade, and was at one time married to an Iraqi. Archeology is a classic intelligence cover: T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) posed as an archeologist in the Middle East in the early part of the last century. But archeology is Osthoff's real profession. One Washington-based German source said Osthoff had been working on arranging a rendezvous with an al-Qaida member on behalf of a German intelligence agent in Iraq. Whether the meeting ever took place has not been revealed, but another source in Berlin, reached by telephone, said experts believed that the kidnapping may have been the work of a rival group, possibly within the same organization. As for the price of her release, well.... A day after Osthoff's release, the Germans had quietly freed and sent home to his native Lebanon Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Hezbollah militant serving a sentence for killing a U.S. Navy diver in a hijacked TWA jetliner in 1985. Berlin officials denied any connection between Osthoff's release and Hamadi's after serving only 19 years of a life sentence. They said Hamadi had qualified for parole and the decision to free him had been taken by the state government in North Rhine Westphalia, where he was being held, not the Federal government. He was captured in Frankfurt in 1987 for his part in hijacking the TWA jetliner and killing the American navy diver, who was a passenger on the plane. The United States requested Hamadi's extradition, but the Germans refused, and instead tried and convicted him. But both German sources said the real deal involving Osthoff's release had been the payment of a ransom to her terrorist captors by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel. The ransom and Hamadi's release could well constitute a double embarrassment for Merkel on her scheduled "maiden" visit to Washington next week. Washington has always opposed pay ransom money on the grounds that it encourages more kidnapping. Interesting.....


At 1/10/2006 11:43:00 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

I don't buy it. I don't buy that German intelligence is the least bit interested in Zarqawi... the evidence is in the fact that they let go Hamadi, probably the most infamous Hezbollah terrorist of all time. Why would they want Zarqawi?

I think all these cinfidential sources are making these claims as a public relations ploy. Or, possibly, they want Osthoff to be killed as payback for the embarrassment she has caused germany.

At 1/10/2006 01:14:00 PM, Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

so they further embaress the government in order to kill her for embaressing the government? Is that your theory?

At 1/10/2006 01:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do Germans normally let terrorists they parole fly back to their native countries? Maybe they do?

Or is Germany setting a precedent of allowing jailed terrorists to be used as bargaining chips with hostage takers?

At 1/10/2006 01:39:00 PM, Blogger programmer craig said...

SM, how do you figure anonymous claims fingering Osthoff as an informant embarrass the German government? Curious here. Because it SEEMS like by claiming she was working for German intelligence, they are attempting to negate the suspicion held by me and many others that she was in Iraq collaborating with terrorists.

If they really wanted her to live, they certainly wouldn't finger her as a german spy, would they?

Whatever is going on with this story, it's not what it appears to be.

At 1/10/2006 03:50:00 PM, Anonymous CanadianPharaoh said...


Your blog must have been taken out by mistake from my recommended list. I didn't even realize it!

I just added it again...Sorry



At 1/10/2006 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll never trust the Germans anyhow.


At 1/11/2006 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Melantrys said...

Wow, thank you, Craig. ;)

I saw an interview with Ms. Osthoff 2 days ago, and although she was still visibly shaken I dare say she is a tad bonkers.
What she said there was that she had been kidnapped and sold to some Emir as a spy, an enemy of Iraq. As talks with her had shown that she is a devout Muslim and loves the country she said that this Emir had promised to return her rather early on in the kidnapping, but that there had been problems with the negotiations. Having paid money for her himself and trying to safe face he asked for the sum that was then paid.
Concerning her work for the BND she said that she never worked for them; she asked whether ppl thought she'd had problems paying her rent for the flat back in Germany if the BND had been employing her? She said that she did personally know ppl who were working for the BND and was friends with them. And that as a fellow country-woman she of course informed them if she passed car bombs and places that seemed suspicious to her in Baghdad. Along the lines of "don't go there; I think it's not safe".
Plus, she didn't seem to happy about ppl spreading that BND story and, yes, endangering her.

I don't know, she's such an odd person, but I suppose I believe her.

Oh, and folks. Germany has always made it its policy to not deal with terrorists. That they decided to pay a ransom for an archeologist working more or less with the German government on a project in Mossul was maybe not that probable, but that they freed a terrorist in exchange is impossible.

They shouldn't call it "life" then, as that only means 25 years I think, so that guy would have been freed anyway. What you might also not be aware of, from 15 years on prisoners might be let go. They can appeal, and if it is agreed that they behaved themselves extremely well and might be deserving, it's bye-bye, off you go then.

Yup, I agree with Craig on the public relations ploy theory.


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