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Canadian Journalist Kidnapped by 'Al-Qaeda Group' After Being Handed Over by Iraqi Police

CBC News | September 13 2004

Comment: More evidence that these hostage-takers are largely CIArabs.

HALIFAX - Canadian military writer and publisher Scott Taylor is safe after being held captive for five days in Iraq.

Taylor, who was abducted last Tuesday night in the town of Talafar by an unknown group of men, was released early Saturday.

He told CBC News he and a Turkish journalist were taken by police and told to get into a car with some masked gunmen. He said he was turned over to a group linked to al-Qaeda.

The newspaper columnist and publisher of the military magazine Esprit de Corps said he was "tortured and beaten" and "also told I was going to die. They were going to behead me on Friday."

Taylor told the National Post that his captors apparently thought he was an Israeli spy, but that he was able to convince them he was a Canadian journalist.

He said he can barely walk because of the beatings he endured.

His disappearance wasn't known until the Turkish journalist e-mailed Taylor's office to let them know the journalist had been released and Taylor was still in captivity.

Eventually, his captors took him to a spot on the highway, flagged down a taxi, took off his blindfold and put him in the cab.

Taylor said he was taken to the Iraq-Turkey border, where Canadian Embassy officials from Turkey met him.

It is not known why Taylor, a frequent visitor to Iraq, was abducted.

Kimberly Phillips, a spokesperson for Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, confirmed the government is aware of the incident.

"What I can tell you is that we're aware of his situation and while details of his detention are sketchy, Canadian officials both in the region and Ottawa are continuing to make every effort to assist Mr. Taylor," she said.

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