18 Stories

His Plan: Ride Across Africa. He Was Captured Immediately

The story of Johan Gustafsson's nearly 6 years with al-Qaeda

(Newser) - Johan Gustafsson spent more than five years learning Arabic, French, and local African languages. The alternative might have been going mad. Gustafsson was abducted from his hotel terrace in Timbuktu, Mali, on Nov. 25, 2011, reports the Local . The then-36-year-old had been in the country just 24 hours, ready to... More »

Cops: Tourist Held, Raped Over 2 Months in Australia

Cairns man in custody after traffic stop on Sunday

(Newser) - "Horrific," "catastrophic," and "terrifying" are just a few words police in Queensland, Australia, are using to describe a two-month ordeal during which they say a British woman was held captive, beaten, and raped by a former lover. Authorities say the 22-year-old woman from Liverpool had... More »

Couple Abducted by Pirates—Again

Sabine Merz reportedly killed, Jürgen Kantner seized in Philippines

(Newser) - A German couple who's spent four decades sailing the world has apparently been abducted by pirates for a second time, with what appears to be a fatal result. Jürgen Kantner and Sabine Merz—who were held by Somali pirates for 52 days in 2008, until a six-figure ransom... More »

Iran Arrests 80-Year-Old Dad of American Captive

Baquer Namazi arrested Monday in Tehran, wife says

(Newser) - The last confirmed American prisoner held in Iran now has company in the form of his own dad. US-Iranian national Baquer Namazi, 80, was arrested in Tehran on Monday, his wife writes on Facebook , per CNN . He's the father of businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October but... More »

ISIS Is Selling Girl Slaves for $124

UN official confirms circulated price list is the real deal

(Newser) - This ISIS release isn't as graphic as a beheading video, but it's no less disturbing. According to the UN's Zainab Bangura, the terrorist group is circulating a pamphlet that lists specific prices for its captives, including sex slaves and infants. Bangura says she's verified the pamphlet,... More »

Captured Pilot's Dad to ISIS: Treat Him as a 'Guest'

No word yet on Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh's fate

(Newser) - The father of the Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS is pleading with militants to treat his son well, reports Reuters , noting that 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh comes from a prominent Sunni Muslim family. "I do not want to describe him as a hostage. I call him a guest,... More »

New Video Proves Captive US Soldier Is Alive

But Bowe Bergdahl looks to be in poor health

(Newser) - The US military has received fresh video of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl , who was captured by the Taliban in June 2009 and is the only US soldier currently held in captivity. The "proof of life" video, found on a thumb drive the US obtained last week, is the first glimpse... More »

Months Ago, Cops Went to Home Where Girls Were Held

But couldn't hear anything, saw no evidence of children

(Newser) - The mother and stepfather arrested and accused of holding their three daughters captive in Tucson soundproofed the girls' bedrooms so well that when police officers went to the house two and a half months ago on a robbery call, they saw no evidence of the girls. Among other things, the... More »

London Captives Appeared in 1997 Documentary

Film crew was looking into death of woman at commune

(Newser) - Eerie: A documentary crew caught two of the captives recently rescued in London on film, ever so briefly, in 1997. The ITV documentary focused on the death of a woman who fell from the window of a house used by the alleged slavery commune that year, the Telegraph reports. Investigators... More »

Woman Held Captive in Philly Basement: Cops

Regina Bennett, 46, has been arrested

(Newser) - It's the kind of story where you don't want the word "again" to come into play. But Philadelphia is once again in the news with the revelation that a woman with special needs was being held captive in a basement there. The Philadelphia Daily News reports that... More »

Somali Pirates Torturing Hostages

Bandits use captives as human shields

(Newser) - Somali pirates beat, tortured, and threatened to kill captured South Korean sailors, the Telegraph reports. “Pirates trampled and beat me whenever I talked with my captain,” said one of the seven rescued sailors, who went home yesterday. “I lost my four front teeth after being hit by... More »

Taliban Threatens to Kill Captured American Soldier

(Newser) - The Taliban says it will execute a captured American soldier if the US does not withdraw from two districts in southeastern Afghanistan, the Voice of America reports. A Taliban rep said today the soldier is healthy but will be killed if operations in Paktika and Ghazni continue. The fate of... More »

1M-Plus March for Colombian Hostages

Cities across the globe show support for captives

(Newser) - More than a million people marched in Bogota, Columbia and other world capitals today demanding the freedom of captives held hostage by leftist rebels in the Columbian jungle, AFP reports. Recently liberated captive Ingrid Betancourt led chants of "No More hostages" in Paris on Columbia's independence day, as famous... More »

FARC Will Punish Remaining Captives: Ex-Hostage

US contractors rescued from Colombian rebels speak to press

(Newser) - Speaking to the media for the first time since his rescue Wednesday, a former FARC captive warned that remaining hostages would face retribution over the escape, CNN reports. “Right now, they're being punished because we got rescued,” said US government contractor Marc Gonsalves. They’ll be made to... More »

Fritzl Told Victims He'd Gas Them

Sister-in-law says he'd 'spend whole nights down there'

(Newser) - Josef Fritzl threatened to gas his captive daughter and their children if they tried to escape, the Guardian reports, claiming he had rigged a toxic-gas system in the basement. Meanwhile, the possibility of an accomplice arose for the first time today, when a 12-year lodger at the house said he... More »

They're Lucky They're Not in Guantánamo

Novelist notes British captives have it easy, as detainees go

(Newser) - Iran's British captives may be embarrassed and anxious, but they  appear to be better off than many detainees in American and British hands, observes novelist Ronan Bennett. "They have not been hung from a forklift truck and photographed for the amusement of their captors. They have not had electrodes... More »

British Captives Standoff Stiffens

Experts say there is no clear border between Iran and Iraqi waters

(Newser) - London and Tehran and ratcheted up the rhetoric over the 15 British soldiers being held captive in Iran yesterday, the LA Times reports: Britain got the UN Security Council to issue a statement of "grave concern," while Tehran released more video of sailors professing guilt and issued charts... More »

Iran Promises Female Soldier's Release

Britain steps up pressure by freezing business activity

(Newser) - Iran promised to release by Friday the female sailor captured along with 15 men in a British patrol boat last week. England stepped up pressure to free  the soldiers by cutting off "bilateral business" and publicizing secret documents which mark its boat nearly two miles from Iranian waters at... More »

18 Stories