David Rohde escaped from the Taliban only after weeks of planning, taking advantage of a length of rope to aid his descent down a 20-foot wall, the New York Times reports. The journalist and his Afghan colleague waited until a night when the city had electrical power, so the sound of their falls would be muffled by whirring air conditioners.
The two journalists walked 15 minutes to a Pakistani militia point, where they were stripped at gunpoint before being transferred to Islamabad. The reporters say they planned their escape after growing despondent that their captors were not negotiating. But a source told CQPolitics that the Times' insurers, AIG, were ready to bribe the guards, and that their escape story "sounded fishy." The Times was reportedly ready to pay a $5 million ransom.