Today, in the Daily Mail on page 7, there is an article that suggests that Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth let slip two opportunities to rescue the Chandlers. The British Gazette is going to reserve judgment on the precise whys and wherefores until such time as the Chandlers are safe and well or the worst has been confirmed, save for making the comment that we were unaware – as were many news agencies – at the time of their capture the RFA oiler Wave Knight DID have a party of Royal Marines on board.
Notwithstanding the Daily Mail’s comments however, the British Gazette is not going to seek to second guess the judgments of the military professionals in this situation.
It is however the opinion of the British Gazette that this situation may develop in one of two ways. The kidnapers – whose objective is financial gain – may well sell their captives to another group such as an Islamic fundamentalist group. Sadly this is a situation that is not unknown in the middle east. In the past in Iraq, westerners have been captured by groups with the intention of selling them to terrorist groups. It is entirely possible that this may be the fate of the Chandlers.
Alternatively, it is possible that certain parties [not the British government] may provide what the relatives of the Chandlers have not. Money. It is possible that a group of wealthy British Muslims may use those intermediaries that ship-owners have used to negotiate and pay a ransom from their own resources.
There are various reasons why they may wish to do this:
It is a fact that many rich persons are also charitably disposed. Indeed, it can be said that the U.S.A. depends heavily on this form of resource to provide many services that are in Europe provided through taxation.
There are many British Muslims who are most concerned at the rise of fundamentalism and being of moderate views themselves value the British society of which they are a part.
The British Gazette hopes that the Chandlers will soon be back unharmed in the U.K. whilst at the same time hoping that the government in this case can be relied upon to be true to their word of not paying a ransom or making deals with the kidnappers.