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August 12, 2005

A Sad Note

From The Scotsman:

AN American journalist who was shot dead in Basra last week was executed by Shiite extremists who knew he was intending to marry his Muslim interpreter, it has emerged.

Steven Vincent was shot a week before the planned wedding to Nouriya Itais and had already delivered a $2,500 dowry to her family.

The disclosure casts new light on the grip of Islamic religious sects in the British-run south- east of Iraq - raising concern that they will take control once troops start to withdraw. Mr Vincent was abducted from his hotel three days after writing a piece in the New York Times accusing British officials of allowing religious parties to infiltrate the Basra police.

In America, his death was taken as retribution for his article. But in London yesterday, British officials pointed out that the police in Basra believed it was retribution for his affair.

"We warned him to look after his security in a more professional manner than he was doing," said the official.

The couple were found by Iraqi police after being shot by their captors. Medics managed to save Ms Itais.

Update: Sometimes when I get angry, I am perhaps over-subtle.

Let me spell it out. From Kathryn Jean Lopez's tribute to Vincent:

According to an e-mail from Vincent's wife sent on Tuesday night, Vincent and his Iraqi translator, Nour Weidi, were "snatched in front of a bank on Tuesday, August 2nd at 6:30 P.M. local time.

Hence the title of this post.

Posted by Cassandra at August 12, 2005 08:29 AM

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All flesh stems from clay. Sigh.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 12, 2005 02:03 PM

You know...I'm doubting this story greatly since his wife did post on his website a "good-bye" post under the announcement of his demise and she said that she loved him always and would be missed.

I'm thinking these revelations are probably a big surprise to Mrs. Vincent as well as, until the interpreter comes out and says so, I dismiss these allegations. He might have given her family money because they were in bad shape or as payment for interpreter services and that's where the money went.

Everything else is conjecture until otherwise proven. Frankly, his shooting was probably not about his personal engagements as it was all the other reporting that was going on. This sounds like a cover up story.

Posted by: kat-missouri at August 12, 2005 09:09 PM

This is unabashed nonsense.

The allegation comes from the Basra Poilice, about which Vicent had just done an expose in the New York Times. How much more transparent could they be about it?

Posted by: Jimmie at August 13, 2005 06:23 PM

Uh-oh, Cassie, I wonder if our credulity meter needs some tapping...

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at August 13, 2005 07:07 PM

I wondered why I didn't have more comments on this one. My reference to being angry was because it sounds to me like Vincent is being slandered on slight evidence.

How often does a male pay a dowry to the bride's family? I could be wrong, but that struck a false note with me. And the NY Times piece Vincent had just done eviscerated the Brits. I know they're our allies, but this doesn't smell right to me.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 13, 2005 07:53 PM

I doubt very much he was unfaithful to his wife and that he was going to marry his interpreter. He doesn't look like the type and even if his interpreter came forward and said so, that is after the fact and can we even accept it, knowing she might be under duress?

I agree. It is flimsy at best.

Posted by: Cricket at August 16, 2005 05:50 PM

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