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Kidnappers demand tears on cue for hostage video

Hostage: The Jill Carroll story, Part 3

By Jill Carroll
The Christian Science Monitor

Editor's note: The following is a content summary of Part 3 of the Jill Carroll series on The Christian Science Monitor.

story.1612.carroll.jpg
In her first video, Jill Carroll was made to wear Western clothes and no headscarf.

(The Christian Science Monitorexternal link) -- After dinner they told me to put on a track suit they'd given me two days earlier, and remove my head scarf. I wanted to wear my hijab if they were going to film me; they said no, they wanted to make my hair messy, make me look bad.

They brought me back into the sitting room, and men began filing in, carrying AK-47s and RPGs. They were cavalier about their weapons; one AK was lying on the ground, pointed right at me. I thought, "If that thing goes off, it's going to blow off my leg."

They were holding up a sheet, moving it here and there, trying to find the best light. There were maybe ten men in the room, and each had an opinion; it was "no, no, no, here", and then "no, no, no, over here".

The leader with eyes as black as ink had written up a short speech, but he wasn't going to deliver it. Abu Rasha, the man who'd fought soldiers the night before in Baghdad, was going to do it instead. He kept practicing it aloud; I didn't understand most of it, except for when he said "CIA".

Then the leader turned and coached me intently. I must say that they were mujahedeen fighting to defend their country, that they wanted women freed from Abu Ghraib prison, and the U.S. military, particularly the Marines, were killing and arresting their women and destroying their houses.

And I must cry, on cue. (Watch Jill Carroll reveal what she was thinking while pleading for her life -- 1:14)

Abu Rasha donned a jumpsuit and wrapped his head in a kaffiyeh, along with two other men. I sat down in front of them and the camera rolled.

I started to give my speech. A man standing behind the camera ran his fingers down his cheeks, to signal that I needed to cry.

It took me a while to work up to the crying part. But I had a lot of pent-up emotion and stress, and by the time we finished, I was crying for real. (Later, I learned that Al Jazeera only aired about 30 seconds -- without audio -- of that first four-minute tape. The tears were never broadcast.)

As the taping ended, I put my head down and I just kept crying. I heard Abu Rasha behind me go, "ughh", in a sympathetic way, like he felt bad, and some of the other men were making little noises like they felt bad that I was sitting there crying in front of them.

Ink Eye's reaction was different. He showed no sympathy. And I knew his opinion of me -- my personal character -- might make the difference in whether I lived or died. (Watch as Carroll describes kidnappers --1:55)

He said, "We have to do this again."

Click hereexternal link for the entire article on The Christian Science Monitor.

Coming tomorrow: Part 4: A mother as a suicide bomber

Copyright 2006 The Christian Science Monitor

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