Escape from hell

The captivity and rescue of Amanda Lindhout and Nigel Brennan—and what happened once they were back home


Robert Fowler and the Ransom

A letter from the leadership of al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch to its erstwhile employee, regional terrorist chief Moktar Belmoktar, confirms that a ransom of about $950,000 was paid for the release of Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay in 2009.


FARC releases last of their ‘political prisoners’

But the Colombian leftist rebels are still holding numerous ‘economic prisoners’ for ransom


How Robert Fowler was freed

Robert Fowler, the Canadian diplomat who, along with fellow Canadian Louis Guay, was held captive for four months by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb before his release in April, has spoken to the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge. The conclusion of his two-part interview runs tonight. Fowler says he doesn’t know whether a ransom was paid or if prisoners changed hands to secure his freedom. He also says he would not reveal such information if he did know, so as not to affect future hostage negotiations.


How Fowler’s freedom was bought: letting other countries do our dirty work

I’ve just spoken with a source who is familiar with the negotiations that took place for the release of Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay from the Canadian and British side. He or she confirms they were sprung because of a ransom and prisoner exchange.


Germany and Switzerland paid ransom for kidnapped Canadians: Algerian security source

I have an article in tomorrow’s print edition of Maclean’s about al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Islamist group that held Canadian diplomats Robert Fowler and Louis Guay, along with some details about how they were freed.


Freeing a hostage …

The Pakistan Observer is reporting that two Taliban leaders held on charges of terrorism and murder of foreign troops were released in exchange for the freedom of CBC journalist Mellissa Fung, who had been held captive in a tiny cave west of Kabul for 28 days. The World Desk is trying to independently confirm the story. If true, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s claim that no ransom was paid for Fung’s release was disingenuous.