British journalist and war correspondent Anthony Loyd has publicly identified the Syrian rebel who kidnapped and shot him twice in the leg at point-blank range in 2014. Loyd, described as “one of the most pre-eminent war correspondents of his generation” dropped a bombshell over the weekend when The Times, a British outlet, published a bone-chilling piece entitled, “The man who shot me now works for the CIA.”
In it, The Times correspondent describes how he came to see the man who, just two years prior, repeatedly shot Loyd. Loyd and his associate were kidnapped and severely beaten while en route to Turkey. The kidnappers were hoping to receive a ransom.
Loyd’s article begins:
“It was with some surprise watching a video of a victorious band of western-backed rebels that I noticed the face of America’s newest ally in the war against Isis in Syria.
It was the face of a man I last saw in May 2014 when he leant forward to shoot me twice in the left ankle at almost point-blank range while my hands were tied. It was punishment for having attempted to escape his gang of kidnappers in northern Syria who had hoped to sell me on.
“He shot me in the middle of a crowd of onlookers, after a savage preliminary beating, denouncing me as ‘a CIA spy’. Now, it seems, he works with them.”
Loyd goes on to explain where his kidnapper ended up:
“The grainy footage of the video – posted last month on Facebook – showed Hakim Abu Jamal waving his Kalashnikov in the air to proclaim a small victory, courtesy of US air power, on a dusty street in the border town of al-Rai.
“I remember him well from across the years. Now, Hakim, forage cap on his head, was standing in the middle of a group of ten other Syrian rebel fighters all belonging to a CIA-vetted group.”
Just over four years ago, the New York Times ran a piece documenting a figure who appeared to be Jamal actively participating in war crimes as part of a Syrian rebel group. The extremists were operating alongside other antigovernment groups under the banner of the Free Syrian Army to overthrow Assad.
U.S. Command has yet to explain how or why a well-known and seasoned violent criminal with ties to highly dangerous extremists has been cleared by the U.S. government. Both the U.S. and the Free Syrian Army have confirmed Hakim’s position as sub-commander of the CIA-backed rebel group. The United States government has approved Hakim Abu Jamal in spite of the fact that, as Loyd explains:
“His file is held by at least three separate intelligence agencies, including MIT, of Turkey, and MI6. His extremist links are well documented. Two of his brothers joined the al-Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front. One of them spoke on record about his loyalty to al-Qaeda to The Times. Meanwhile The New York Times ran a story about a war crime committed by Hakim Anza in 2012. Hakim Anza’s activities were brought to the attention of John Kerry, the US secretary of state, who spoke publicly of his concern for our ordeal.”
It has now been proven on video and confirmed by both the U.S. and Free Syrian Army – that the United States government is recruiting and arming violent extremists with “US weaponry, including Tow missiles, as well as air strikes in support of their operations.”
Loyd concludes his harrowing account with a memory and a warning:
“Recalling that day in 2014, I remember saying to Hakim as he drew the gun: ‘I thought you were my friend.’ He replied: ‘No friends,’ and squeezed the trigger. America would do well to consider Hakim’s past betrayal as it embraces its newfound ally.”