With so many different jihadist groups operating in Syria who salivate at the thought of killing an American, this is bad news.
Via Business Insider:
Turkish media is reporting that veteran journalist Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent and Middle East bureau chief, and his Turkish colleague Aziz Akyavaş are currently missing in Syria.
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reports that Engel and Akyavaş haven’t been in contact with NBC News since Thursday morning.
John Cook of Gawker reports that NBC has been “asking every reporter who inquires about the report to participate in a news blackout,” but the Turkish reports “have been referenced on Twitter by Slate’s David Weigel, Michelle Malkin, former MSNBC anchor David Shuster, and hundreds of others.”
(Politico) — NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his production team were released today after being held captive for five days inside Syria, the network announced today.
In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Engel said the captors were members of a Shiite government militia loyal to Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and allied with Hezbollah.
Engel and team were detained Thursday after crossing into Syria, blindfolded and placed in a truck, according to information provided by the network. They were bound and blindfolded during their detention, but were not otherwise physically harmed. They had no contact with NBC News, and there were no requests for ransom, according to the network.
News of Engel’s release followed a media blackout, wherein NBC News asked media outlets not to report on their capture, citing safety concerns. But reports from Turkish outlets circulated widely on Twitter Monday. One U.S. outlet, Gawker, violated the blackout, citing an absence of specific threats to Engel’s safety, and others aggregated from that report.