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World Afghan man charged in kidnapping of New York Times journalist; brought to NY to face US justice system

01:25  29 october  2020
01:25  29 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Federal charges were unsealed Wednesday against an Afghan man accused in the 2008 kidnapping of former New York Times journalist David Rohde and two others who were held by armed captors for more than seven months.

Haji Najibullah, 44, was brought to New York from Ukraine and faces a six-count indictment in connection with the abduction. Rohde later wrote about his ordeal and escape with Afghan journalist Tahir Ludin

Rohde and Ludin were not named in the federal court documents outlining the charges against Najibullah, but the timing of the events described matched the case involving the American journalist.

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"Journalists risk their lives bringing us news from conflict zones, and no matter how much time may pass, our resolve to find and hold accountable those who target and harm them and other Americans will never wane,” said John Demers, chief of the Justice Department's National Security Division. “The defendant, like many others before and surely others to come, will now face justice in an American courtroom.”

David S. Rohde posing for the camera: This April 9, 1996, photo shows David Rohde, then of The Christian Science Monitor, at a mass grave site in Kravice, Bosnia. Rohde, reporting for the New York Times, and two other men were kidnapped at gunpoint in Afghanistan in 2008. U.S. authorities announced Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, that an Afghan man, Haji Najibullah, has been brought to the United States to face charges in the kidnapping. © Vadim Ghirda, AP This April 9, 1996, photo shows David Rohde, then of The Christian Science Monitor, at a mass grave site in Kravice, Bosnia. Rohde, reporting for the New York Times, and two other men were kidnapped at gunpoint in Afghanistan in 2008. U.S. authorities announced Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, that an Afghan man, Haji Najibullah, has been brought to the United States to face charges in the kidnapping.

Najibullah is accused of arranging the November 2008 abduction along with other co-conspirators who later forced the hostages to hike across the Afghanistan border into Pakistan where they were detained for seven months.

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During their time in captivity, the victims were allegedly forced by Najibullah to make telephone calls and videos as part of negotiations for their release.

"In one of the videos... the American journalist was forced to beg for his life while a guard pointed a machine-gun at (his) face," prosecutors alleged.

Najibullah is charged with hostage taking, conspiracy to commit hostage taking, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and two counts of using and possessing a machine-gun in furtherance of crimes of violence.

Each of the six counts carry a maximum punishment of life in prison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Afghan man charged in kidnapping of New York Times journalist; brought to NY to face US justice system

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Students trapped inside describe seeing classmates gunned down and dozens taken hostage. The attack began with an explosion at the gates of the prestigious university campus in west Kabul just before 11 a.m. Monday morning. Thousands of students fled, but a number trapped inside began posting to social media describing seeing classmates gunned down.

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This is interesting!