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$2 Million Ransom Paid to Release FOX News Reporters Last August

Reported by Marie Therese - November 14, 2006 -

WorldNet Daily reported today (November 14, 2006) that last August an unnamed American source paid $2 million in ransom for kidnapped FOX News reporter Steve Centanni and his cameraman, Olaf Wiig. The U.S. government issued its usual "we don't negotiate with terrorists" and, oddly, at the time FOX News remained curiously silent on the whole topic of the Centanni-Wiig abduction until it became impossible to stay quiet any longer.

WorldNet Daily reports:

Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a United States source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olag Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."

He said he expects the payments for Centanni and Wiig's freedom will encourage Palestinian groups to carry out further kidnappings.

On August 29th, I wrote a post about a report that appeared in Al Hayat, an Arab newspaper, claiming that it was the United States government that paid the ransom.

Which brings up an interesting question.

If Israeli citizens are killed as a result of weapons purchased with ransom paid by agents of the federal government, can those agents be prosecuted for aiding and abetting terrorists under the Patriot Act?

In other words, can the government prosecute itself for breaking its own laws?

Update, November 18, 2006, 1:30 PM EST: According to the November 127, 2006 edition of the New Zealand Herald, FOX News' Roger Ailes denies that FOX News paid the ransom. However, the article also had this to say:

[WorldNet Daily] said a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions had confirmed money was received from a US source, but could not identify which organisation or government entity transferred the cash.

Officials associated with President Abbas' Fatah party had also confirmed money was paid for the release of Wiig and Centanni.

A source at Fox News reportedly told WND that many parties were involved with freeing Centanni and Wiig, and it was possible money was paid.