This is coolbert:
From the article by Patrick Cockburn the first two paragraphs copied in entirety and thanks to the Ron Unz Internet web site we have an update most germane to some previous blog entries.
"Iraq Seizes 'World's Largest' Ransom on Route to Royal Kidnappers"
"Officials at Baghdad International Airport became suspicious earlier this month when their X-ray machines could not see into 23 large bags unloaded from a Qatari plane, producing only a black image because the contents were wrapped in a special material impenetrable to detecting devices. They were further amazed when they opened the bags to discover that they contained hundreds of millions of dollars and euros in cash worth a total of $500m (£389m), says an Iraqi source."
"It is now clear that the money was ransom for 24 Qataris, several of them leading members of the Qatari royal al-Thani family, and two Saudis who had been hunting with falcons with official permission in supposedly safe southern Iraq when they were kidnapped 16 months ago by a Shia militia task force. A deal to get them released has been complicated by negotiations involving Qatar and Iran as well as Shia and Sunni militias over the simultaneous evacuation of people long besieged in four towns, two Shia and two Sunni, in northern and southern Syria respectively."
Shia militia evidently the kidnappers. I had thought originally this was the work of the Islamic State. And too part of what is called a "package deal". NOT just payment as ransom. Kidnapping and holding important persons for ransom an important aspect of terrorism also!
Such are the ways of that part of the world? Most regrettably so too!
See previous blog entries the topic of which was the kidnappings as reported: