April 21st, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Freed journalists await word on missing driver, reflect on Libyan captivity

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - The four New York Times staffers recently held captive for about a week by pro-Moammar Gadhafi troops made it out of Libya alive.

However, they're unsure if their driver, Mohammed, did. And the experience is forcing the seasoned war journalists to reconsider how they look at the world.

"We probably should have died those first 12 hours, given, you know, the intensity of the firefight and the positions we were in," Anthony Shadid told Anderson Cooper on CNN's "AC360."

But when Shadid and his colleagues Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks emerged unscathed from the firefight, they fled right into the arms of their soon-to-be captors, who were manning a government checkpoint.

Mohammed got out of their vehicle at the checkpoint.

The journalists, who were blindfolded soon thereafter, aren't sure if they ever saw him again, but suspect the worst.

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Ione

    We are full of admiration also for the courageous members of the press including
    Anderson Cooper. No, we don't know what you
    have gone through, but we perceive your
    caring. And we DO care about what is happening
    ... the human race is interconnected. You
    don't always LOOK calm, although you report
    professionally ... and we know you DO understand the situation. I think it is more true that we don't WANT to understand too fully, at least not some of us. But we listen, and we watch and we read.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  2. Patrick James Riley

    I am presently watching your segment with the four reporters kidnapped in Libya. I lived and worked in Libya for nearly two years, and was due to return in February of 2011. I was struck by Ms. Addario's description of the caresses and seeming "incongruity" with the death treats whispered at her: that is how Libyans approach their lambs in anticipation of butchery, caressing and stroking the animal before and during the slicing of the neck, such caressing and comforting whispers continuing as the animal bleeds out. I have seen this done in the courtyard of my apartment, and on the roof terrace. There is little incongruous about the kindness of Ms. Addario's potential butcher. I would say it is plausible that it was sincere, and that she was in fact being prepared for execution.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
  3. Sony Thomas

    War and war crimes always continue the same way... 17 years have gone by since I was detained by Hutu extremists in Rwanda. On 7th of October 1993 I was detained along with 2 other journalist friends in Kigali. We were with the UN team (UNAMIR) lead by Belgian soldiers on a mission to report the implementation of Arusha Accord. We were kidnapped while travelling towards Butare Province. Today I remember the days we spent under the horrifying and unspeakable situations we had to go through during the 14 days of captivity. I gratefully remember the special task team headed by Romeo Dallaire, who was the UN Force Commander and their intelligent operations through which we were delivered at last!! My tribute to all those brave and selfless persons, including journalists and members of the UN Forces who worked untiringly to bring peace in Rwanda.

    Sony Thomas

    April 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm |