On the Kidnapped Jordanian Driver in Iraq

For the past couple of days since this kidnapping took place I have been waiting and holding my breath for the end result. It is quite a situation Jordan is in: releasing a terrorist in exchange for an innocent civilian. I have expected that on some level communications are taking place on behalf of the government to secure this man’s release.

In the Jordan Times today:

The government on Monday said that it was intensifying its efforts to secure the release of a Jordanian driver kidnapped in Iraq.

Government Spokesperson Nasser Judeh said during his weekly briefing yesterday that the government was working hard to free the driver.

Late last year, gunmen seized Mahmoud Salman Saaidat, a driver at the Kingdom’s embassy in Iraq, in the southern district of Saydiyah, which prompted the government to announce that it was considering relocating its embassy staff. The embassy was hit by a car bomb in August 2003 that killed 11 people and injured around 60. [source]

The situation has become a little more difficult lately when al-queda terrorists kidnapped 6 Sudanese workers and demanded the closure of their embassy in Iraq; to which their demands were met soon after.

However Jordan’s situation differs with Sajida being a key component in the equation.

Whatever the end result is I do believe Jordan should close its embassy despite the fact that there are over half a million Iraqis in Amman these days. The security of Jordanian workers should come first and above all other things including diplomatic relations with Iraq and truth be told I highly doubt the closure of an embassy will be damaging to our ties with Iraq.

For a moment I thought to myself heck, if America want’s to insist on occupying Iraq then it should at least provide some security for embassies. But then again I suppose a Jordanian embassy surrounded by American troops would be a bigger target. The same way the American embassy in Amman is surrounded by Jordanian troops.

Irony is tragic.

UPDATE: [January 3rd]

The kidnappers of a Jordanian embassy driver in
Iraq gave a new three-day ultimatum to execute him if Amman fails to release a would-be suicide bomber, Al-Arabiya satellite channel reported. [source]

Iraqi militants are negotiating with the Jordanian government about the fate of a hostage they threatened to kill unless Amman freed a failed woman suicide bomber, Al Arabiya television reported on Tuesday.

Al Arabiya said it had received a new video from the little-known group, the Falcons Brigade, in which the militants said they were holding talks with Jordan’s government about embassy driver Mahmoud Saedat. [source]

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