Some suggestive words from The TO Star concerning the alleged "rescue" of CPTers in Iraq:
But questions remain about how the rescue unfolded and the level of Canada's involvement. The fact no kidnappers were there when the rescuers arrived gave rise to speculation the men were released as part of a pre-arranged agreement.
Harper said he had seen no evidence a ransom was paid to secure the hostages' freedom.
"I certainly haven't been told that and everything that has been told to me would suggest the answer is no," he said.
But the Washington-based SITE Institute, which monitors extremists' websites, noticed a posting yesterday on an Arabic website that claimed the Christian Peacemaker Teams had paid a ransom for the release. The group vehemently denied the claim.
TheStar.com - `We caught a very lucky break': Hostages
We shall see over the next couple of days/weeks whether there is any truth to these speculations. I suspect we will have another "Jessica Lynch" moment as it is revealed that the Christian Peacemakers were "released" as much as "rescued".
Update: 7:00 am More material from The San Francisco (?) Mercury News:
The statements left many unanswered questions. It was unclear whether the kidnappers -- who claimed to belong to a little-known group called Swords of Righteousness Brigade -- had been tipped off about the raid, had been paid to leave or simply left the men unguarded. The group had accused the men of being Western spies and had threatened to kill them unless all Iraqi prisoners were released.
British officials refused to answer questions about the raid. It could not be learned whether any of the abductors was arrested or whether a ransom was paid.
Pritchard said he did not know whether the freeing of the men came after any negotiations.