June 15, 2004

New AQ web video death threat to an American

An Al Qaeda-connected website has a new video up, this time of kidnapped American Paul Johnson. Johnson is a technician for Lockheed-Martin in Saudi Arabia, working on Apache helicopters.

Johnson was reported missing last week; an AQ-connected website showed a picture of him, along with his Lockheed-Martin business card earlier this week.

The website says that Johnson will be killed unless Saudi authorities free al-Qaida prisoners within three days.

"My name is Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr.," the seated hostage says in the tape, an elaborate tattoo on his left shoulder. "I am an American. ... I work on Apache helicopters."

The tape, which was first aired by CNN, also displayed his Lockheed Martin identification card.

The statement on the Web site says the holy warriors of the Arabian peninsula's Fallujah Brigade has "hit" the engineering team that "oversees the development of the American Apache helicopter that attacks Muslims in Palestine and Afghanistan."

It says: "The Fallujah Brigade has killed the director of this team and kidnapped one of its engineers, Paul Johnson, and if the tyrannical Saudi government wants their American master to be released, then they have to release our holy warriors that are held in Ha'ir, Ruweis and Alisha prisons within 72 hours of this statement's date or else we will sacrifice his blood to God in revenge for our Muslim brothers who have been liberally killed everywhere."

The Web site statement addressed Muslims all over the world, saying: "We have made a promise to ourselves to defend you. We will not let you down, and you should know that the treacherous tyrants who have helped the Americans against you, and shared your blood with them, do not represent the Muslims of Saudi Arabia. They are our enemies as much as they are your enemies. They are the enemies of God and his prophet."

On Monday, Johnson's son spoke to reporters about his father's love of Arabic culture. Paul Johnson III said his father once sent a copy of the Quran to his sister, with passages highlighted from the Islamic holy text that he felt were especially important.

"He felt he never had any fear for his safety and respects and honors their traditions and cultures," Johnson III said. "Dad said many times he loved living in Saudi Arabia."

Johnson's family could not be reached this evening for comment.

Posted by mhking at June 15, 2004 11:09 PM
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