This 2024 - Let's Win the Battle of Headlines
update deskMiddle East

Israeli researcher initiated meeting with kidnappers in Iraq

Islamists took Tsurkov captive after discovering she was Israeli.

Dual Israeli-Russian citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov is being held hostage in Iraq by Iran-backed Shi’ite militia Kata'ib Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department designates a foreign terror organization. Source: Twitter.
Dual Israeli-Russian citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov is being held hostage in Iraq by Iran-backed Shi’ite militia Kata'ib Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department designates a foreign terror organization. Source: Twitter.

New details have emerged about the abduction in Baghdad last March of dual Israeli-Russian citizen Elizabeth Tsurkov.

According to Arab sources, Princeton University researcher Tsurkov initiated a meeting with members of the Iran-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah (“The Battalions of the Party of God”) Shi’ite militia, a separate and distinct organization from the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

The U.S. has designated Kata’ib Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Tsurkov met with Ahmed Alewani, who gave her access to his son, David Muhammad Alewani—a senior Kata’ib Hezbollah official.

During their second meeting, the Alewanis discovered that she was Israeli and decided to kidnap her.

The sources said that there was at least one attempt to move Tsurkov to Iran but it was not clear if this attempt was successful. 

Tsurkov, 36, a Princeton doctoral candidate and nonresident fellow at the Washington think tank New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, entered Iraq using a Russian passport, visiting the Kurdistan Region before heading to the Iraqi capital.

“Elizabeth Tsurkov is still alive, and we hold Iraq responsible for her safety and well-being,” the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement earlier this month.

“The matter is being handled by the relevant parties in the State of Israel out of concern for Elizabeth Tsurkov’s security,” it added.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates