web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



NBC’s Jewish Reporter Kidnapped in Syria, Freed in Gunfight (2 Videos)

A shootout ensued, and the journalists escaped through the back of the van.
NBC's Richard Engel

NBC's Richard Engel

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, 39, and two of his  production crew members who were kidnapped in Syria and held for five days, were freed early today, December 18.

Engel, who is Jewish, was interviewed this morning by NBC, shortly after he arrived in Antakya, Turkey.  The American news crew was taken there after they were freed, following a shootout between their abductors and Syrian rebels.

Engel explained that on Dec. 13, he and his crew were in an area of Syria they believed was held by rebels, when, as they drove along a road, “a group of heavily armed gunmen jumped out of the trees and bushes.”  The captors dragged the journalists out of their car, shoved them into a “container truck,” and killed on the spot one of the rebels with whom the NBC crew had been traveling.

During the five days they were held in captivity, the NBC crew were kept bound and blindfolded.  Engel said that while they were not physically beaten, they did undergo psychological torture.

The American journalists were told they had to “pick which one of the three should be killed first,” Engel said.   When they refused, the captors picked the producer, Ghazi Balkiz, and told the three that he would be killed first, and then fired their guns into the air.  Because all three journalists were blindfolded, they believed Balkiz was shot, just as Balkiz believed he was about to be shot.

On Tuesday, the journalists were in the back of what they described as a minivan being moved to another “safe house,” when the captors were surprised by a checkpoint manned by Syrian rebels.  A shootout ensued, and the journalists escaped through the back of the van.  The NBC crew was then taken to Turkey by Syrian rebels, where the journalists were able to make contact with their families and their employer.

In an understatement, an unshaven Engel said during his live NBC interview this morning, “I’m very happy that we are able to do this live shot this morning.”

Although they cannot say for sure, Engel told NBC that their captors spoke openly about their loyalty to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Engel said he believes their captors are part of the pro-regime “shabiha” milita, which is allied with Hezbollah, and trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

According to an NBC report, Engel and his crew understood that their captors hoped to exchange the journalists for comrades held by the rebels.

Engel grew up on the upper East Side of Manhattan.  He attended Stanford University and is fluent in Arabic.

There is another American journalist whom American officials believe is being held in Syria by the Assad regime.  Austin Tice, a 31-year-old freelance reporter, disappeared while reporting from a Damascus suburb on August 13.  A video of Tice turned up on September 26, neither Tice’s family nor anyone else has been contacted about him or told of his whereabouts.

The Tice family set up a website in the hopes that someone will be able to provide information about their son.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “NBC’s Jewish Reporter Kidnapped in Syria, Freed in Gunfight (2 Videos)”

  1. Art Swanson says:

    Engel is the luckyist Yid on Planet Earth. If these Radicals realized he was a jew, his little neck would have been sliced from ear to ear ala Anthony Pearl!

  2. Gil Gilman says:

    Another demonstration of what the world would be like under Islamic rule.

  3. Gil Gilman says:

    Another demonstration of what the world would be like under Islamic rule.

  4. Anonymous says:

    During the Gulf War, Bob Simon, also Jewish, was captured by the Iraqi's and kept for 40 Days! He PRAYED they wouldn't find out he was Jewish!
    I honestly don't believe the Jewish Reporters should be reporting in the ARAB countries!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas and the Temple Mount: "It's mine, all mine. No Jews allowed.
Abbas Declares Closure of Al Aqsa Mosque a ‘Declaration of War’
Latest News Stories
Chairman Robert Sugarman and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Feb. 17, 2014

Conference of Jewish groups chided the Obama administration for the nasty comments made about Bibi.

Feiglin.jpg

Feiglin was standing next to Glick during the assassination attempt

A small caliber weapon was used to shoot at IDF troops patrolling along the border near Quneitra.

Abbas and the Temple Mount: "It's mine, all mine. No Jews allowed.

Abbas didn’t even condemn the shooting of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.

Arab rioters threw firecrackers at Border Police in the Old City in Jerusalem Thursday and lightly wounded at least one tourist. Police arrested one Arab youth. Earlier in the day, Arabs hurled rocks at a bus in eastern Jerusalem. No property damage or injuries were reported, and one Arab was arrested. In the Jabel Mukaber […]

The Islamic Jihad was thrilled with the shooting of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick and said “he got what he deserved, the Mann reported. Daoud Shihab, Islamic Jihad spokesperson, told Ma’an that attempted murder of Glick, who is in critical condition as of this moment, was a “natural response” to defend Jerusalem” and the Al-Aqsa […]

A cartoonist has turned the tables on an attack cartoon against the PM published by the leftist daily Ha’aretz.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick’s condition has taken a turn for the worse. He needs prayers. Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Itta Breindel.

The father and brother of the Islamic Jihad terrorist who allegedly shot Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick were arrested Thursday in Silwan.

The “silent” intifada is roaring at the gates, Harriet, and threatening to bash the door in. It’s silent no more. Who’s really inciting terrorism?

Female tourist injured when struck by rocks thrown by Arabs at the Kotel.

Jerusalem Arabs are rioting near the home of the killed terrorist in the neighborhood of Abu Tor.

China has acquired $7 billion in Israeli assets in the past three years.

Alleged shooter of Yehuda Glick worked in the Begin Center restaurant.

PM Netanyahu blames PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for terror attack aimed at killing Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick.

Disability rights foundation calls on US to denounce using name of a disability as a derogatory term.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Chairman Robert Sugarman and Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Feb. 17, 2014

Conference of Jewish groups chided the Obama administration for the nasty comments made about Bibi.

Tourists gathered after woman hit with rocks thrown by Arabs at Kotel, Oct. 30, 2014.

Female tourist injured when struck by rocks thrown by Arabs at the Kotel.

Alleged shooter of Yehuda Glick worked in the Begin Center restaurant.

Disability rights foundation calls on US to denounce using name of a disability as a derogatory term.

Jerusalem police report a shooting outside of the Begin Heritage Center. Man down in serious condition.

U.S. officials should not have called Bibi ‘chicken****,’ administration official said, all other insults OK.

Nobel Prize Winner Malala donates $50K to rebuild Gazan UNRWA schools.

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has allegedly had his Egyptian citizenship revoked.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/nbc-jewish-reporter-kidnapped-in-syria-freed-in-gunfight-2-videos/2012/12/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: