Amanda Lindhout, 27, had recently arrived in the country with an Australian friend, a man who has also been kidnapped, her father, John Lindhout, told Global National in a telephone interview from his home in Sylvan Lake, Alta. Mr. Lindhout said his information has come from the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has been in contact with him throughout the day. By Saturday evening, the department had not yet publicly confirmed the kidnapped woman's identity, Amanda, see her photo above (God knows what the Al-Shabaab savages will do to this pretty female journalist).
Amanda Lindhout, who has been based in Baghdad, had been on a tour through Africa to put together freelance reports for a French television network. She had been hoping to sell her stories to Canadian broadcasters, as well. "I work with a team of professionals that I have hired locally, and I have packaged together several 2.5-min reports from Ethiopia and Kenya," Ms. Lindhout wrote to Global National in a recent e-mail. "Next week I am going to Somalia to report on the deteriorating security situation as well as the food crisis which has affected 2.6 million there."
Ms. Lindhout has also worked in Iraq as the Baghdad correspondent for an Iranian television broadcaster, but quit in May to work as a freelancer. The last entry on her Facebook social networking page, posted Friday, said, "Livin' it up in Mogadishu Somalia"
The reporters, their Somali driver and two Somali guards were abducted on the way to see people displaced by the violence in Mogadishu and now living outside the city, said Abdihakim Haji, the brother-in-law of Abdifatah Elmi, one of the two guards.
Haji said he knew about the abduction because it occurred while he was talking to Elmi on his cell phone during the trip to Elasha, about 18 kilometers (11 miles) southwest of Mogadishu. About halfway there, "I heard a voice ordering them to turn the car in a different direction," Haji said, recalling his last conversation he had with his brother-in-law.
"My brother, in a low tone, was trying not to answer my inquires, but made me understood that they were caught in a difficult situation. I realized that things had changed and then their voices disappeared," Haji said in a telephone interview from Mogadishu.
Abdi Haji Gobdon, a government spokesman, said Somalia's government was trying to find out where the journalists were being held captive. He could not identify them or confirm the information that Nor and Haji had provided.
"Once we get information where they are, we will take measures, be it force or negotiations. We will try to ensure the safety and release of the journalists," Gobdon told The Associated Press.
Journalists and humanitarian workers are frequently abducted for ransoms in Somalia, one of the world's poorest and most war-torn countries. Foreign and local workers generally travel in convoys heavily guarded by freelance militiamen. Saturday's reported abduction came during a period of widespread violence in Somalia.
In the worst attack, Islamic militants, Al-Shabaab, said Saturday they have seized control of Kismayo, Somalia's third largest city, after fighting that left about 70 people dead.
Al-Shabaab maintains a website in Vancouver WA, USA, that seeks additional recruits and solicits funds for it's terrorist activities, see http://www.kataaib.net/shuhadada%2028-01-2008.html
Al-Shabaab's offical website is seen here, the translated website is see by clicking here, they solicit funds and recruit additional "fighters" online, the website is hosted in the USA by the Dotster Web Hosting Company in Vancouver WA. Al-Shabaab in Somalia is Al-Qaeda.
Dotster web hosting; DOTSTER INC
8100 NE Parkway Dr #300Vancouver, WA 98662, USA
Phone 1-360-449-5985 or 1-360-449-5900