KUWAIT CITY (AP) – Kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll appeared in a video aired yesterday on a private Kuwaiti TV channel, appealing for her supporters to do whatever it takes to win her release and saying “there is a very short time.”
Carroll was shown in the black-and-white video wearing an Islamic headscarf, sitting on a chair in front of a wall with a large floral design. She spoke to the camera in a firm voice, without weeping as she did on a previous video.
“I am here. I am fine. Please just do whatever they want, give them whatever they want as quickly as possible,” she said, adding she was speaking on Feb. 2, nearly a month after she was abducted by armed men in Baghdad. “There is a very short time. Please do it fast. That’s all.”
The 22-second video was aired on Al Rai TV, a private Kuwaiti channel. It included audio, unlike two previous videos of Carroll.
The video was delivered earlier yesterday to Al Rai’s Baghdad office and was aired in its entirety, Hani al-Srougi, an editor at the station, told The Associated Press.
It was accompanied by a letter written by the 28-year-old freelancer.
The newscaster said on the air that the station would hand the letter over to authorities but did not specify whether they would give it to Kuwait or American officials. The station said it would not disclose the letter’s contents.
In Baghdad, a U.S. Embassy spokesman Dennis Culkin said yesterday that American authorities routinely do not comment on such tapes, especially before they have been authenticated.
In the tape, Carroll mentions the letter and suggests that her captors sent a letter in her handwriting previously. It was the first report of any letters from Carroll.
“I am with the mujahadeen (holy warriors). I sent you a letter written by my hand, but you wanted more evidence, so we are sending you this letter now to prove I am with the mujahadeen,” she said.
Armed men abducted Carroll on Jan. 7 in Baghdad, killing her Iraqi translator.
On Jan. 30, Al-Jazeera television broadcast a video showing Carroll weeping as she appealed for the release of female Iraqi prisoners.
The name of the group that has claimed responsibility for her abduction, the Revenge Brigades, appeared on that video.
On Jan. 17, Al-Jazeera aired a video released by the Revenge Brigades showing Carroll – her head bare, and her long straight brown hair parted in the middle – and setting a Jan. 20 deadline for the release of all female prisoners in Iraq. The group threatened to execute her unless their demands were met.
A producer at Al-Jazeera said the station did not receive any letters with the videos it aired.
Late last month, the U.S. military freed five Iraqi women detainees, but American officials insisted the release was not linked to the demand by Carroll’s abductors.
The U.S. military was believed be holding about six more. It was unclear how many women were held by Iraqi authorities.
Some 250 foreigners have been taken captive since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and at least 39 have been killed.