Freed American hostage Jill Carroll, who has left Frankfurt, Germany for the United States Sunday after nearly three months in captivity by Iraqi insurgents, says her captors forced her to make a propaganda video praising the insurgency to gain her release. Her latest comments refute statements made shortly after her release Thursday that she had been treated well by her captors.
Shortly after her arrival Saturday at a U.S. military airbase in Germany, American journalist Jill Carroll set the record straight about earlier comments she made about her captivity in Iraq.
In a statement read in Boston by her editor, Richard Bergenheim, Carroll said her captors promised her she would be released if she cooperated with the propaganda video, and she agreed in hopes she could escape her threatening environment.
"Things that I was forced to say while captive are now being taken by some as an accurate reflection of my personal views," Bergenheim said. "They are not. The people who kidnapped me and murdered (Iraqi translator) Alan Enwiya are criminals, at best. They robbed Alan of his life and devastated his family. They put me, my family and my friends -- and all those around the world, who have prayed so fervently for my release -- through a horrific experience.
The 28-year-old freelance journalist was released Thursday after 82 days in captivity. In the video released by her captors, Carroll praised the Iraqi insurgency and criticized the U.S. war effort.
Carroll also made reference to an interview given to the Iraqi Islamic party shortly after her release. She said the party promised the interview would not be aired on television, but the party broke its word. She said that out of fear of retribution, she told the interviewer she had not been threatened.
In fact, her statement said, she was threatened many times.
Carroll also refuted reports that she had refused to travel and cooperate with the U.S. military or to discuss her captivity with U.S. officials.