Canada paid ransom for return of Robert Fowler

Wikileaks cable reveals al Qaeda was paid off by Ottawa


According to a leaked U.S. State Department cable made available Wikileaks, the Canadian government paid a ransom to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in exchange for the safe return of Canadians Robert Fowler and Louis Guay in 2008. The cable, which does not specify the amount of the ransom, details an exchange between a Libyan official and the U.S. ambassador in Tripoli. Musa Kasa, Libya’s then foreign minister, expressed concern that paying such a ransom is “unfortunate and only increased the strength of al Qaeda.” The Canadian government has maintained that there was no ransom paid and that the governments of Mali and Burkina Faso negotiated the diplomats’ release. Fowler and Guay were kidnapped while visiting a gold mine in Niger. Fowler was the UN’s special envoy to Niger at the time, and had played a leading role in ending the blood diamond trade in Angola.

CBC News

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Canada paid ransom for return of Robert Fowler

  1. Prior ransom payments (whether hushed or not) directly contributed to these low-life thugs kidnapping our two Canadians. This ransom payment will (or may already) have contributed to these and other low-life thugs kidnapping more people.

    Exposing this mistake can't do any harm: the criminal scum already know it works since they got their booty already. And it may do good, for it may prevent governments from perpetuating this mistake and endangering more and more innocent people over time. Well, no, I take that back: it will embolden loved ones of the next victims to exert you-did-it-for-so-and-so pressure…

    And yes, it feels awful to say that the release of our two Canadians unharmed was a mistake. But achieving it through reward of the criminals was most certainly a mistake.

    • I cateogorically disagree. Your argument rests on the premise that it's acutally possible to control the flow of ransom payments. It isn't.

      Ransom being paid is a given.

      If it were my spouse, I'd raise the money myself and find a way to pay the kidnappers, precedent be damned, future/past victims be damned, and if it were illegal, I'd gladly sit in jail for it.

      Your approach while conceptually logical, is not realistic in practical terms.

      Keeping the payments quiet is the next best alternative.

      • That way, only the criminals know how well it works? Pfft.

  2. Gossip from the Libyans is now gospel?

  3. I REMEMBER JUST ONE INANE COMMENT MADE BY BOB FOWLER UPON ARRIVING HOME IN CANADA…" the thing i can't understand is that these terrorists have no concept of FUN. their whole live from birth to death is given over to hate and revenge.

    apparently brilliant bob was not born in a refugee camp or a reservation or a ghetto. he never worked day and night in a chinese sweat shop or was a child sold into sexual slavery in thailand.

    not much FUN bob, you stupid ass. no, you didn't deserve to be paid out.

  4. I believe a ransom was paid. Probably directly by friends or relatives of the hostages but maybe indirectly by government.

  5. I think the "secret" of kidnapping being a medium risk high reward strategy for the desperate and violent has been out of the bag for decades at least.

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