August 27, 2006

Kidnapped Fox journalists convert to Islam on video

GAZA (Reuters) - Two kidnapped Fox journalists appeared on
a new videotape released by their captors on Sunday in the Gaza
Strip, in which the reporters said they had converted to Islam,
the Fox News Channel said.

Palestinian Interior Minister Saeed Seyam said efforts were
under way to secure within hours the release of Fox
correspondent Steve Centanni, a 60-year-old American, and New
Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36.

Both journalists appeared to be in good health in the new
video. They were seized on August 14.

They were shown separately sitting cross-legged, reading a
statement which Fox said was an announcement that they had
converted to Islam. At times in the video they were wearing
long Muslim robes.

Wiig called on leaders of the West to stop "hiding behind
the 'I don't negotiate with terrorists' myth." He then read
some words in Arabic.

"The issue of the two kidnapped journalists is on the way
to being resolved," Seyam told Reuters. "Efforts are under way
with several parties to secure their release within the coming

The previously unknown Holy Jihad Brigades claimed
responsibility on Wednesday for the kidnapping and had warned
the United States to free Muslim prisoners or the captives
would face unspecified consequences. The deadline expired on

The United States has said it would not make "concessions
to terrorists."

A videotape released on Wednesday showed the two men,
dressed in tracksuits, sitting on a blanket in front of a black
background. They appeared fairly relaxed and in good health.
Both said that they were fine and being treated well.

The kidnapping is the longest-lasting abduction of
foreigners in the Palestinian coastal strip in more than a