As of 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time [Thursday], Idema’s compound in Pulacharke is burning. Bennett has been taken by forces loyal to Karzai to the Al-Qaeda portion of the prison, where rumor has it and it is reasonable to presume he is being tortured.Well, yes, we have been here before -- Jack and Brent have survived more than a dozen assassination attempts in the past. This time, however, they're under direct attack from forces loyal to Karzai, who have already captured Brent and handed him over to Al-Qaeda prisoners in their section of the prison.
Before his communications were cut-off, Jack Idema had the following to say late Thursday:
"This is it, Karzai and the US has finally ordered them to use weapons against us, the new General Sadiqi, has said that he was given orders to shoot to kill if we resisted. We may not make it through the night. if not, bye. At least you know what finally went down. They are going to cut all the phones off in this area soon if they do come in. My block is on fire, surrounded, and they already got Brent, I will hold out to the end.This does not look good, not good at all.
UPDATE: According to an email from Kender;, who Jack managed to contact earlier today, the situation now is that Jack now has Northern Alliance protection, and that Karzai's goons have backed off for the time being.
However. Captain Brent Bennett is still missing, presumed to be stuck in the al-Qaeda section of the prison. If this is the case, clearly, his life is at great risk.
Here's Kender, quoting Jack:
He [Jack] mentioned something about Karzai's guys finding out what a 5 gallon can of gas and a Zippo lighter would do......I don't know what he did but I think at the moment he is safe.Also. Jack is receiving 'conflicting reports' concerning Brent's whereabouts. As soon as we learn anything definite, or just what happened with regard to Karzai's troops and that '5 gallon can of gas' we'll let you know. END OF UPDATE
Brent Bennett Freed?
It's beginning to look as though Captain Brent Bennett has been released from prison:
KABUL, Afghanistan - An American was released from an Afghan prison and flown out of the country Saturday after serving more than two years for running a private prison as part of a freelance hunt for terrorists, officials said.So what's going on? Well, we know from Jack Idema's own account (speaking both to the AP and to members of the Free Jack campaign), that Brent was removed from the Task Force Sabre compound by force last Thursday. What's less clear is if he was also forced to leave Afghanistan. It certainly looks as though the U.S. officials moving him around have gone to great lengths to keep him out of sight, and are denying him the right to speak with members of the press -- If Bennett really is a free man, then why such heavy-handedness on behalf of the U.S. and Afghan authorities?
Court documents filed Friday in Washington, D.C., show that U.S. officials planned to secure Brent Bennett a passport and a ticket out of the country, and an Associated Press reporter saw a man identified as Bennett board a plane for Dubai late Saturday.
It was not clear if Bennett, 29, was free or in the custody of U.S. officials. He was held in a private room at the airport and journalists were prevented from talking to him.
Hopefully, we won't have to wait too long before getting answers to some of these questions, and in the meantime, at least, we can breathe a sigh of relief that both Brent and Jack are out of immediate danger.
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