German spy chief: Iraq kidnap wavemore dangerous than car bombs

6th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 October 2004 , BERLIN - Germany's intelligence chief warned Wednesday that the wave of kidnappings in Iraq posed a far bigger threat to the country than deadly suicide bombings. "(Kidnappings) undermine state authority and ultimately disrupt any sustainable economic development," August Hanning, president of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) said in an ARD TV interview. In the long-term, the problem of kidnappings is so far more dangerous than car bombings, said Hanning. BND intelligence shows

6 October 2004

BERLIN - Germany's intelligence chief warned Wednesday that the wave of kidnappings in Iraq posed a far bigger threat to the country than deadly suicide bombings.

"(Kidnappings) undermine state authority and ultimately disrupt any sustainable economic development," August Hanning, president of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) said in an ARD TV interview.

In the long-term, the problem of kidnappings is so far more dangerous than car bombings, said Hanning.

BND intelligence shows that about 65 percent of the kidnappings in Iraq are carried out not by Islamic extremists but rather by regular criminals.

Hostages are exchanged with other groups but such deals go in both directions between Islamic groups and Iraqi organised crime, Hanning stressed.

BND data shows 240 foreigners from 33 nations have been kidnapped in Iraq since April 2004. Of these, 140 were released, 40 were killed and fate of the remaining 60 is unclear.

On average there are 10 kidnappings per day in Iraq, according to the BND.

DPA

Subject: German news

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