Kidnapped CNN Producer Freed9/28/2004 4:32 AM Eastern
Kidnapped Cable News Network producer Riad Ali was released Tuesday, according to AP.
Talking to reporters after emerging from a Gaza City police station, Ali said his kidnappers identified themselves as members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, linked to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, AP reported.
Ali refused to discuss demands his abductors made, thanking Arafat, Israeli Arab leaders and CNN for helping to win his release. "What I am waiting for now is to go back to my family, children and wife, who are waiting for me," AP quoted him as saying.
Ali's father, Said, told a group of reporters outside his home that Arafat won his son's release, according to AP.
"Yasser Arafat made every effort. He promised, the word of a man. He told me, 'I will not rest and not sleep until Riad Ali is freed and back home with his family,' and when I spoke to him now, he told me, 'I promised, I freed," AP quoted Said Ali as saying.
CNN confirmed the release, saying that Ali had been turned over to Palestinian police, and a police official also said Ali was free, AP reported.
Witnesses told CNN two cars with gunmen approached a CNN van on a Gaza street Monday, and Ali was taken away at gunpoint.
The motive for the kidnapping was not clear, as by midday Tuesday, the kidnappers had still made no public statement or demand, and Palestinian militant factions denied involvement, AP reported.