ABC News' Blotter notes Arab newspaper Al Hayat has reported that a secret deal made between the U.S. government and "The Holy Jihad Brigades" resulted in the release of a FOX News correspondent and cameraman.
... [The] U.S. secretly negotiated with the group through leaders of 'the Palestinian popular resistance committees.'
... [Al Hayat] reports that the public demand was not serious and that the group's 'real demands' were that the U.S. press Israel to reopen the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Palestine and cease the shelling of 'Palestinian activists'' residences.
According to the report, the mediators contacted a representative of a European country who in turn contacted U.S. and British diplomats. The paper's sources said in the report that members of a senior FBI delegation, who had arrived in the area a few days earlier, were also involved in the negotiations.
The announcement that the two journalists had converted to Islam as a reason for their release was only a camouflage to conceal the fact that the U.S. had agreed to the hostage-takers' demands, according to the sources cited in the article. A few days ago the Rafah crossing was reopened for a few hours daily, and the Israeli forces stopped shelling residences of activists in the past few days, noted the paper's sources.
Evidently, the Bush administration is willing to "negotiate with terrorists" when it comes to Faux News employees.
Wonder if similar secret negotiations were being conducted behind the scenes during the abductions of Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg, Jack Hensley, Eugene Armstrong and the other hostages who were subsequently murdered by their captors in Iraq?