- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
Final member of NBC team free after Syria kidnap
Question of the Day
Ian Rivers was part of the NBC team led by the network’s chief foreign correspondent, Richard Engel. They were kidnapped in Syria on Thursday, and Engel and several other members escaped unharmed on Monday.
“We’re thrilled that he found his way to safety,” said NBC News communications director Erika Masonhall.
He said he ended up getting released on his own “in the confusion of some type of handover.”
Masonhall said Rivers, a technical support staffer, was left without shoes and without communications gear, but found his way to safety and is thought to be in good condition. He will receive a medical evaluation, then travel on to the U.S. or the U.K.
Appearing on NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday, an unshaven Engel said more than a dozen pro-regime gunmen dragged him and his colleagues from their car, killed one of their rebel escorts and subjected them to mock executions.
He said they escaped during a firefight Monday night between their captors and rebels at a checkpoint.
Engel said he believes the kidnappers were a Shiite militia group loyal to President Bashar Assad’s government, which has lost control over swaths of the country’s north and is increasingly on the defensive in a civil war that activists say has killed 40,000 people since March 2011.
“They kept us blindfolded, bound,” said the 39-year-old Engel, who speaks and reads Arabic. “We weren’t physically beaten or tortured. A lot of psychological torture, threats of being killed. They made us choose which one of us would be shot first and when we refused, there were mock shootings.”
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Syria is by far the deadliest country for the news media in 2012, with 28 journalists killed in combat or targeted for murder by government or opposition forces.
TWT Video Picks
- White House says Russia 'losing' war in Ukraine
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- EPSTEIN: All IRS roads lead to the archivist
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
- Inside the Beltway: Republican posse rides out to fire Harry Reid
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- KUHNER: Will Russia-Ukraine be Europe's next war?
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq