Dec 20, 2012
The need for a good story about the Jihadist terrorists who are fighting the Assad government has been evident for quite some time.
Videos coming out of Syria show the terrorists beheading pro-government civilians, executing prisoners, instructing child soldiers to commit murder, burning houses of worship, looting abandoned homes, destroying state infrastructure like police stations, etc. The content has been overwhelmingly negative.
But lo and behold, we finally have a good story about this band of devils.
Mainstream news articles, such as this one from Wired.com called,“Islamic Extremists Rescue NBC Reporter Held in Syria,”  portray the Jihadist terrorists as shining white knights who saved NBC correspondent Richard Engel and others who were taken captive by a pro-Assad militia.
But there are holes in the story. The writer of Moon of Alabama wrote an article called, “Another Indication That Richard Engel’s Kidnapping Story Stinks.”  An excerpt:
Richard Engel of NBC News had been kidnapped in Syria and was somehow rescued by some FSA terrorist gang. He claims about his kidnappers:
“They were talking openly about their loyalty to the government,” said Engel. “This was … the Shabiha. This is a government militia. These are people who are loyal to President Bashar Assad.”
Professor As’ad AbuKhalil, the Angry Arab , has reason to not believe  that story and has indications  that these were not Assad loyalists but FSA insurgents playing the role of Assad loyalists for a fake media stunt.
There is now new evidence that this was indeed a fake event and that, whatever Richard Engel may believe, he and the people with him (which included one ever unnamed “British engineer” who is more likely some special operations guy) were not in the hands of Shabiha but in the hand of well known experienced video fakers.
The Angry Arab says this was a propaganda ploy by the FSA gang, writing in a post called, “The adventures of Richard Engel” :
Let me go on the record and state: this story is as believable to me as the story of Christopher Hitchens when he ran into Abu Nidal at a street cafe in Baghdad.
In another post , the Angry Arab wrote:
So according to the story that is being circulated by Western media: Engel was kidnapped by Shabbihah, but his captors were not even `Alawites but Shi`ites. And those Shi`ites (unlike the sectarian gangs of the FSA who are at pains to disguise their sectarianism) while they were moving their hostages regularly, they insisted on shooting a video of their hostages with freshly painted Shi`ite sectarian slogans on the wall because they are at pains to showcase their sectarianism. Oh, and they were roaming freelly in the stronghold area of the Free Syrian Army right next to the Turkish border, where Engel and his crew were kidnapped. When I read this the story of Christopher Hitchens’ encounter with Abu Nidal at a Baghdad cafe becomes more believable.
This story does appear to be a fairy tale. Somehow, the thought that known terrorists, who openly express their hatred for “infidels” from the West and are mad at the U.S. government for labeling Al Nusra Front a terrorist group , would risk their lives to save kidnapped infidels just doesn’t make much sense.
The people that kidnap foreign journalists in Syria are affiliated with the FSA  and Al-Qaeda linked groups.
Saman Mohammadi is the writer and editor at The Excavator