Friday, December 2, 2005; Posted: 7:50 p.m. EST (00:50 GMT)
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The kidnappers of four Christian peace activists threatened to kill the hostages unless all prisoners in U.S. and Iraqi detention centers are released, according to a videotape broadcast Friday by Al-Jazeera television.
The tape showed what the broadcaster said were two Canadian hostages. An American and a Briton are also being held. In a statement delivered with the tape, the kidnappers gave the two governments until December 8 to meet their demands, according to Al-Jazeera.
The hostages called on the U.S. and British governments to withdraw from Iraq, Al-Jazeera reported, quoting the statement from the kidnappers, who earlier identified themselves as the Swords of Righteousness Brigade, a previously unknown group.
The corner of the video showed two crossed black swords and the name of the insurgent group written in red Arabic script -- the same emblem shown in an earlier video of the hostages.
The group has claimed that the kidnapped men, from the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams, were spies working under the cover of peace activists. The group denied spying.
The Christian activists -- Tom Fox, 54, of Clear Brook, Virginia; Norman Kember, 74, of London; James Loney, 41, of Toronto; and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, of Canada -- had been repeatedly warned by Iraqi and Western security officials that they were taking a grave risk by moving about Baghdad without bodyguards.
Kember's family said he was opposed to the U.S. presence in Iraq.
"He was in Iraq because of human rights abuses against the Iraqi people," the family said in a statement.
Hilarious. You gotta love these moron 'peace activists'. There's just something delicious about them being hauled up by the same people they claim to want to help while battling for a US pullout. I certainly hope they don't expect our demonic millitary to actually go in and help them now. As far as I'm concerned, they're on their own. Even with their agenda aside, the stupidity of moving around there la-de-da after being warned repeatedly just makes them a darwin award waiting to happen. Good riddance. It might just clean out the gene pool some. Maybe to show their solidarity their family members should run through a crack-infested ghetto at night waving around hundred dollar bills and sporting tons of jewlery.