Kidnapped US Teen Outwits Terrorist Captors

Al-Qaeda-linked thugs held Kevin Lunsmann five months
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2011 12:03 AM CST
Kidnapped US Teen Outwits Terrorist Captors
Kevin Lunsmann talks to Zamboanga city mayor Celso Lobregat after Lunsmann managed to flee his captors, members of a terrorist organization with links to al-Qaeda.   (AP Photo/Zamboanga City Mayor's Office)

A 14-year-old American hostage managed to outwit his terrorist captors and flee to freedom in a Philippines jungle. Kevin Lunsmann, who had been held captive for five months by a group likely linked to al-Qaeda, wandered for two days before he was discovered by villagers, reports ABC News. "I did it on my own, Dad, I did it," the Virginia teen told his father, according to a family friend. Lunsmann convinced the four men guarding him that he was about to bathe in a nearby stream, but made a run for it and followed a river to freedom.

The boy was exhausted and hungry when he was found. "He was in fear, so there was a bit of a chase before the villagers convinced him that they were friends," a local police official told AP. Lunsmann and his Filipino-American mother were on vacation when they they were snatched. The teen's father paid a ransom, but only his mother was released two months ago. The kidnappers are believed to members of Abu Sayyaf, a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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