Afghan man arrested for 2008 kidnapping of New York Times journalist David Rohde

Graig Graziosi
·2 min read
David Rohde was kidnapped in 2008 while reporting on the war in Afghanistan. His captor was arrested on 28 Oct. (AP)
David Rohde was kidnapped in 2008 while reporting on the war in Afghanistan. His captor was arrested on 28 Oct. (AP)

An Afghan man is facing charges in the US for the 2008 kidnapping of a New York Times journalist and two other men in Afghanistan. Â

Federal authorities announced that Haji Najibullah is facing six-counts for the kidnapping. Mr Najibullah was brought to the US from Ukraine to face the charges. Â

The Associated Press reported the story. Â

Mr Najibullah was scheduled to make a court appearance, but it was not immediately clear who would or could represent him or speak on his behalf.  

The victims of the kidnapping were not identified by authorities, but details of the event matched those of the abduction of journalists David Rohde and Tahir Ludin. A man who drove the journalists around the region was the third kidnapping victim.  

The journalists managed to escape their Taliban captors in Pakistan more than seven months after their abduction. The third man chose to stay behind.  

"Journalists risk their lives bringing us news from conflict zones, and no matter how much time may pass, our resolve to find and hold accountable those who target and harm them and other Americans will never wane," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said.

If convicted of the charges, Mr Najibullah could face life in prison. The charges against him include kidnapping, conspiracy and weapons charges.  

Two other suspects are also named in the charges, Akund Zada and Timor Shah. The US attorney's office has not released information regarding their whereabouts. Neither of the men are in custody.  

The captors forced the victims to make videos in which they begged for their lives. In one video, Mr Rodhe pleads for help while a captor points a machine gun at his face.  

Mr Rohde is now an editor at The New Yorker.  

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