What is German Intelligence Doing in Iraq?

Posted by John Rosenthal

Regular Trans-Int readers will undoubtedly remember Susanne Osthoff: the burqa-wearing German archaeologist who was allegedly kidnapped in Iraq last December and then released following payment of a reported $5 million ransom by the German government. This photo, which was published earlier this month in the German weekly Stern, shows two German intelligence agents with… the [...]

Osthoff Returns to Iraq

Posted by John Rosenthal

Many observers were surprised and others scandalized when almost immediately upon her release from Iraqi captivity last December, former German hostage Susanne Osthoff was quoted saying she intended to return to Iraq. Osthoff would later claim she had been misunderstood and that she had not in fact said this. The following from a report in [...]

Osthoff Affair: All BND?

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following from a report by the German television magazine Report München [Munich Report]. According to investigations by the ARD television magazine “Munich Report”, the first negotiations with the kidnappers of Susanne Osthoff were conducted by two agents of the [German intelligence service] BND in Baghdad. Susanne Osthoff was friendly with the two BND agents [...]

Susanne d’Arc

Posted by John Rosenthal

The troubling indications, as discussed in my “Susanne and the Baathists”, that Susanne Osthoff may have participated in her own kidnapping in order to aid the Baathist “resistance” in Iraq are apparently not so troubling for everyone in Germany. Consider the following photo-montage from the weekend edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.   Susanne Osthoff as Jeanne [...]

Susanne and the Baathists

Posted by John Rosenthal

Given her penchant for wearing burqas, her self-professed conversion to Islam, and her uncorroborated identification of her kidnappers as members of the al-Zarqawi group, many skeptical observers have been led to conclude that Susanne Osthoff is herself an Islamist militant and that she cooperated with the Jihadists who are presumed to have taken her hostage. [...]

Report: Osthoff Kept Part of Ransom Payment Herself

Posted by John Rosenthal

The following translated from a report published today by the German news magazine Focus [link in German]: At the time of her liberation, Susanne Osthoff had a part of the ransom [paid for her release] on her person. Focus has learned that employees of the Germany Embassy in Baghdad discovered several thousand dollars. They found [...]

Susanne Osthoff Talks…and Talks and Talks

Posted by John Rosenthal

Those who don’t speak German have not had the chance to appreciate the series of mind-bending interviews that freed German hostage Susanne Osthoff has been giving in the German media since her release in late December. The series began, of course, with her now famous appearance on 28 December on ZDF (one of Germany’s two [...]

Still More Euros for Terror?

Posted by John Rosenthal

The recent upsurge of violence in Iraq will no doubt be taken by opponents of the Iraq War as confirmation of the “strength” of the so-called insurgency. In a sense, of course, it is. But the manifest “strength” of the insurgency – measured, in effect, in its ability to kill – need not necessarily correspond [...]