BBC Director General Mark Thompson spoke for me (and, I imagine, most people in the world) when he said that news of Alan’s release had given him a “fantastic sense of relief and delight.”
My own sense of relief and delight was all the more fantastic because within days of Alan being taken I went public with my fear that he might already be dead, murdered.
We now know, from Alan’s own account, that he himself thought he was going to be killed when, at about 3.30 on the morning after he was abducted, he was hooded and taken outside.
In my expression of fear as posted to this blog, I said I believed it was wrong to jump to conclusions about who, really, had taken Alan (and might have killed him) and why. I went on to speculate that if one took motive in account, there was a case, repeat acase, for saying that Israel was one of the parties with a motive. That suggestion provoked a barrage of organised Zionist hate mail. Some of which I published.
Question: Does what we know today enable us to be any more certain about who, really, was responsible for Alan’s abduction? I say NO!
On the face of it, I seem to be wrong. Alan was abducted by a Mafia-like, Palestinian extended family or clan. For what purpose? Apparently to have Alan as a bargaining chip in a power struggle with Fatah and Hamas.
That isone possible explanation. But in the Middle East nothing, absolutely nothing, is ever what it seems to be. (I think it was Lebanon’s last murdered president who once said, “Believe nothing of what you read and only half of what you see.” He was speaking about events in his own country, but what he said holds good, generally speaking, for the region. My own rule of thumb for interpreting Zionist statements is to assume they mean the opposite of what is stated).
In my assessment, any attempt to establish the truth about who, really, was responsible for Alan Johnston’s abduction must recognise a fact of life ? that Palestinian and other Arab groups such as the one that kidnapped the BBC’s man are easily penetrated by outside agencies ranging from Israel’s secret services to Al Qaeda.
It is by no means impossible that Alan Johnston’s kidnappers were acting, knowingly or not, for an outside agency. If so, which one? And for what purpose, actually?