Well, this is just great. I learned this morning that another five hostages have been taken in Iraq, by a previously unknown group calling themselves Swords of Righteousness Brigade, on the grounds that they were spies. This time, though, I had met one of them. Four of them were working with Christian Peacemaker Teams, including a Catholic Worker member from Toronto named James Loney, whose farm Shannon and I visited a few years ago for our friend Christine’s wedding. He was a nice guy. The other Canadian is from Montréal, and I bet he’s a nice guy too.
CPT has done some neat work over the years, in Canada and elsewhere, much of it dangerous, but I don’t think any of them have been killed while doing it. Some Palestinian activists have asked for their release, citing the good work they’ve done in the West Bank, so hopefully that helps. According to the CBC, 38 of the 225 hostages taken in Iraq in the past two years were executed, so I suppose the odds could be worse. But, still. This sucks.
Update: Text of the statement issued in Palestine.