The elevator to success is out of order BUT Warren Rodwell don’t mind

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Former hostage Warren Rodwell slams 60 Minutes

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Whoever bows to the legislators of Oz should consider this ….

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 Former hostage Warren Rodwell slams 60 Minutes: ‘Kidnapping can never be excused’ …. By Liz Burke

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WHEN Warren Rodwell was kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf terrorists in the Philippines and held captive for 472 days, it made him question everything he knew.

He was cuffed, shot through the hand, mistreated and starved. He was left isolated in a mountainous warzone for 10 weeks and imprisoned the rest of the time. He was delirious.

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Once he was freed in 2013, the former soldier says he looked like a prisoner of war, and was grappling with his sanity.

The only thing he says he knew for sure at that time was that kidnapping had started this, and no good could come of the crime.

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Still bearing the scars of his time held captive, Mr Rodwell had the same thought when he heard of the kidnapping of two children in Lebanon, taken from a Beirut street while they were out with their grandmother two weeks ago.

It would of course come out that those the snatch had been ordered by the children’s mother, with the help of a 60 Minutes crew who intended to broadcast the operation, and carried out by a notorious child recovery agency.

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They claimed the children had been abducted by their father and taken to Lebanon against the mother’s wishes, and that by returning the kids to their mum and their Brisbane home they were carrying out a good and honest act.

All Mr Rodwell could think was: “That’s absurd.”

“I first saw it as 60 Minutes wanting to show kidnapping as a good thing,” he told

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“Because I had been kidnapped myself, my first reaction was repulsion. The thought of trying to show kidnapping as a good thing, I thought that was atrocious and ludicrous.”

The Channel 9 crew led by network star Tara Brown, and the mother of the two children Sally Faulkner, by spending close to two weeks in a Beirut prison following their arrest. They were freed overnight after Nine agreed to pay an undisclosed amount in compensation to the children’s father Ali Elamine.

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Members of Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) who carried out the “child recovery” operation, Adam Whittington and Craig Michael, have been left to the mercy of the Lebanese courts, with Nine taking no responsibility, saying “they are not part of our team”.

Though Mr Rodwell said he was “shocked” by what the agency had done, he believed there had been an “imbalance of equity” in how the situation had been dealt with, especially if it eventuated that Nine had made payments to the kidnappers.

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“I’m shocked at what they do, and that they’re allowed to do it and carry on as a business. Whatever licencing they have has to be looked into,” he said.

“If someone engages an agent, that agent acts on their behalf. If something goes wrong, the person responsible is someone who engaged them.”


Mr Rodwell said that 60 Minutes had become “over-involved” in the story, and should take the fall. He said he was disgraced by the program’s apparent intention to promote kidnapping.

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“In calling it child recovery, it makes it sound like it’s a rescue mission,” he said.

“The question to be asked is with these child recovery agencies, are they in effect something similar to bounty hunters?”

Mr Rodwell said his own experience had opened his eyes to how bad kidnapping can be, and says it should never be promoted.

“Kidnapping itself, as I got a glimpse of, is scratching the surface of people trafficking, and it’s not a thing anywhere that you could really condone. Kidnapping can never be excused,” he said.

WR ignored by PMs

Although he was damning of the entire Lebanon fiasco, Mr Rodwell said his experience had helped him sympathise with Ms Faulkner on one point.

“From what I understand, the mother admitted from the beginning she was naive by agreeing to the children going on vacation. I can appreciate her position because apparently she took it as far as she could in what she could achieve in Australia, but apparently the Foreign Minister couldn’t do anything more,” he said.

60 Minutes after release

“I have had a similar experience myself, because before coming back to Australia after being kidnapped, I had the DFAT, the AFP, ADF and ASIO all assigned to my own case, and it was explained to me quite clearly that before coming back to Austraila, there was seemingly nothing they would be able to do for me, there was no follow through, once I was back in Australia I had to go back in the queue to access any services.

convict woman

“She was desperate, but still, the argument has been put that as a mother you would do anything to get your children back, but if that results in someone being in prison for up to 20 years, what benefit is that to the children?” #auspol #malcolmturnbull

11 Situation Not Normal

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Warren R Rodwell – The longest held Australian captive outside wartime ….


State of Origin Australian Rugby League … WR : ” I DON’T DO GUILT !!! ” Warren R Rodwell #NRL #Origin #SOO #auspol

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WARREN R RODWELL : In-Depth Personal Interview

WARREN RODWELL In-Depth Personal Interview : by Lannah Sawers-Diggins​ (WR : International Adventurer / Hostage Survivor / Speaker / Songwriter

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  1. Please tell us a little bit about your childhood, your background;
  2. You have led an amazing life to date, including being held captive for 472 days. Please tell us something about this;
  3. How exactly did this come about?
  4. Because of this nightmare, you have been extensively interviewed in Australia, the USA,the UK, Europe, The Middle East and Asia. Has this been through all forms of media? Can you please tell us a little bit about this?
  5. And the Government now will not compensate you. What is their reasoning for this?
  6. You also have many other skills. What exactly are they?
  7. You are also a songwriter for the group ‘Mad Cowboy Disease’. How long have you been doing this for? Do you write all the songs for the group? Do you also sing and/or play an instrument?
  8. You have many other interests as well. What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?
  9. You have also amassed numerous awards. Please tell us about that;
  10. What are your short and long term goals for the future?
  11. Is there anything further you would like to add to this to share with the world?


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  1. Please tell us a little bit about your childhood, your background;

I am a W.A.S.P. (White Anglo Saxon Protestant), born on 16th June 1958 at Inglemere Private Hospital in Homebush, a suburb of Sydney, famous these days for the Olympic stadium. My mother often claimed, in all seriousness, that my father (deceased 1990) never paid the hospital bill. 

My ancestry is British, with the first of my namesake forebears being transported in 1838 from Salisbury, Wiltshire, England at the age of 19 to Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) for stealing five silk handkerchiefs. After emancipation, David Rodwell and his young family (including my great, great grandfather David Cornelius Rodwell) followed the gold rush to Victoria. 

In the early 20th Century, David’s grandson (my great grandfather Samuel Richard Rodwell) pursued the lure of gold in western New South Wales, where he subsequently coughed himself to death through years of labouring in coal mines and a cement works. His son (my grandfather Stephen David Cornelius Rodwell) and bride, along with their three primary school age children (including my father, David Richard Rodwell, who later became a bricklayer), moved to Sydney during the Depression years. At the start of World War II. Stephen enlisted in the Australian Army. However, his marriage did not survive afterwards.

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My mother, Ellen Scott, had served in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during WWII. Her family and free settler English/ (paternal) Scottish grandparents hailed from the New England region of northern NSW. Ellen’s father and grandfather were government railway employees during both world wars. My parents were keen dancers. This is how they met in the early 1950s in Sydney.

I have an older brother and sister, with whom I have intentionally maintained relatively close and continuous contact with over the years. Our mother suffered with serious physical and mental health problems. She split up with our father and firstly placed us in St Christopher’s (Church of England) Home for Little Children, Taree NSW when I was 18 months old. Most of my formative years were in institutional Protestant care. There has been media mention in recent years that I was a ward of the state. This is not correct.

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We were placed voluntarily in church care due to family circumstances, ill health and poverty. In fact, the official title given to children of that era/scenario is “The Forgotten Australians” (FA). A national apology to some 500,000 FA’s (including voluntary placements, state wards and British child migrants) was given by the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Federal Opposition leader, Malcolm Turnbull, on 16th November 2009.

On 23rd May 1965 (approximately three weeks before my seventh birthday), Ellen Rodwell (nee Scott) managed to get us out of Burnside Presbyterian Children’s Homes in North Parramatta (Sydney) once she was able to secure a centrally located two bedroom State Housing Commission flat in her hometown of Tamworth NSW and an invalid pension. Two pounds (four dollars) was all she had in the first month. There were no supporting parent benefits or community support programmes at that time.

Coincidentally, Ellen Rodwell died (at age 55) 16 years later on the same day – 23rd May. The causes of death were recorded as: i) acute heart failure (days); ii) emphysema (years); iii) ulcers (years) and iv) malnutrition (years). Her demise can only be regarded as nothing less than a merciful release. The inscription I created for her cemetery plaque reads, “The suffering is over, but the pain lives on for those who remember our ever-loving mother”.

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Tamworth West Public School was diagonally across the road from us. Classroom learning and after hours study captured my young imagination and suited the quiet home environment my sick mother required. A few years earlier, at the age of four in church homes, it was noticed that I had not started speaking. Apparently, my speech was undeveloped. My siblings and I were in different age groups and church homes and I didn’t really have anyone to talk to anyway. I attended speech therapy whilst in third and fourth grades, absorbing myself in as much formal education as I could. Here was a field of endeavour, in which I was free to research, ask questions and explore to my heart’s content.

For most subjects, I was placed in classes two years ahead of my age. By the end of primary, I was school dux and vice-captain making public speeches (on auspicious occasions, such as ANZAC Day and Easter), as well as a recipient of a bursary for the first four years of high school.

Swimming (and sunbaking) at the town public baths was my preferred sport/pastime during summer. Any coastal vacations were relished. Playing and tackling as a rugby league second rower during winter, provided me with camaraderie and some useful strategic skills and attitudes for life. We did not have a family car, so the main modes of transport available were walking or bike riding. My older brother introduced me to cycling as an interest and sport.

By the age of 12, all seemed stable, even dandy, until my mother’s health deteriorated further. She suffered greatly through intense bouts of loneliness and depression, accompanied by a nasty addiction to prescribed medication. My siblings had already left school and home, and were working.

For the first six months of high school, I was placed in the notorious Salvation Army Gill Memorial Home for Boys in Goulburn NSW. Even though the privileges of being No. 1 or head boy were extended to me, I absconded and returned to what I regarded as my hometown, attending Tamworth High School. Over the years since then, the city of Tamworth has become known as the “Country Music Capital of Australia”.

After leaving school, I gained employment with the NSW Railways, completed relevant specialized studies, performed platform and clerical duties in the telegraph/parcels/booking offices and goods shed on the mid north coast, before relocating to the metropolitan network in Sydney. A few months prior to turning 20, I voluntarily enlisted in the Australian Regular Army. This was during peace time.

My mathematical/analytical abilities saw me initially allocated to the Royal Australian Survey Corps (map making). I later transferred to the Royal Australian Engineers corps and trained as what is now referred to as a combat engineer (roads, bridges, airfields, trenches, water supply, booby traps, minefields, explosives, firefighting and first aid). With the rank of sapper; ingenuity, resourcefulness and improvisation were the signature key characteristics.

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Upon discharge from the military, my sights were focused on gaining formal tertiary qualifications and hands-on managerial experience in business (finance, property, conveyancing and insurance). As I successfully climbed the corporate ladder, I realized that I did not possess any excessive levels of greed. My conscience steered me away from the commercial world into personal counselling roles, particularly those burdened with monetary concerns, much the same as my own mother, who had spent hours alone crying at night over the kitchen table.

My first wife was from a different part of Australia to me. We met in Brisbane. Our three children (two sons and one daughter) are now adults leading their own independent lives elsewhere.


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At the turn of this century, I reassessed and reinvented myself by studying computers (hardware, software, internetworking, website design), thinking such skills would assist when moving abroad as an expatriate. There is no doubt that computer technology has played a significant role for me since hand.

Travel always appealed to me. Apart from broadening the mind, I felt that moving away from Australia and living as an expatriate for an extended period would allow me to better understand myself, the world and others. I had already circled the globe once, so I wasn’t venturing into the total unknown.

At the age of 44, I challenged myself with climatic, linguistic and cultural shock by accepting an English teaching role in socially isolated provincial northern China. You could say that I did the hard strokes and paid my vocational dues there. The next natural step was to do formal training in Thailand the following year in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL). I returned to mainland China afterwards via India, Nepal and Tibet.

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Better familiarizing myself with the demographics of the People’s Republic, I accepted full time government university teaching jobs in preferred locations. The language departments/faculties taught business, culture, linguistics and literature. Business communication and culture were always my favourites, but I was also introduced to journalism by being given it as a subject to teach for a couple of semesters. Please bear in mind that my students were often post graduates (aged 22 -30) proficient in English as a second language.

 Chinese professors shared my philosophy that the purpose of education is to produce enlightened minds. Academia suited me well. Vacation breaks were frequent and lengthy, so I was able to travel extensively, domestically and worldwide. To date, I have been to fifty countries in Asia, Europe, Oceania, South America, the Middle East, and United Kingdom.

Extra curriculum opportunities were often presented to me when contact was made from within and outside the universities that I was associated with. These included judging and compering national English speaking, singing and acting contests; attending official banquets and conferences; writing/editing for newspapers and magazines; involvement as an honorary envoy for the local state association for friendship with foreign countries; collaborating with the production, promotion and distribution of a hardcover publication of a book designed as a comprehensive guide to the culture of Sichuan province in the southwest of China; as well as doing interviews for radio, television and printed media.

Separately, military history intrigued me, so my travels also included Changi Prison and The Battle Box in Singapore; The River Kwai and Death Railway in Thailand; The Killing Fields in Cambodia; The War Museum in Vietnam, The International Peace Centre in Japan and Auschwitz Extermination Camp in Poland.

Having been raised in church homes, and being part of a generation that considered Sunday School to be beneficial and normal, I have been able to travel, work, live and interact in societies with different and mixed religious perspectives (Agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, and Judaism). My most significant voluntary stints to date include teaching English at a Buddhist University in Myanmar (Burma) to monks and local laypeople, plus participation in an education development programme in South America through the United Nations.

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In 2009–2010 (aged 51), I returned to Australia for the best part of a year with the intention of completing a course in peace building for the troubled small nations of the Pacific Islands and South East Asia. Dates did not coincide and course structures appeared to have changed. Alternatively, I enrolled in a Christian counselling course at an evangelical college, which was once one of the children’s church homes I had lived in almost half a century earlier. I determined that if counselling fell between the two stools of psychology and theology, then my own personal leaning would be towards humanitarianism. I subsequently did an external Diploma of Community Services (Financial Counselling) over the span of eighteen months through another education provider. However, government funding cuts drastically affected the (NGOs) non-government organizations providing such service to the general public.

An interest in anthropology had developed within me over the years of living in the world at large. Human migration patterns and cultural influences became more obvious. The latter part of 2010, I commenced teaching English at a medical college in the province of Inner Mongolia, northern China. Figuratively speaking, the world had turned by the start of 2011, and I was at a stage of life contemplating my future. Well, at least for the next five to ten years.

Before departing South America in 2009, I had been learning Spanish. I did Latin in high school, so reading Romance languages was not really of concern. The quiet stage of learning another language was passing. I had begun thinking in Spanish, but I wasn’t ready then to totally leave the English-speaking world. Allowing for seasons, a flight valid for one year was booked from Shanghai to the United Kingdom as a gateway to South America. With spare time up my sleeve, I visited South Korea and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The northern winter had been long and I craved some warmth. My life changed completely when I next travelled to The Philippines.

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Continued …

Warren Rodwell Should Be In The Himalayas

Someone like should be in the Himalayas  


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Former soldier / university teacher / hostage survivor / songwriter Longest held Australian captive out of war #auspol

Do you look like Warren Rodwell?

Do you look like Warren Rodwell ? #auspol

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VG-intervju: Slik overlevde Warren Kjartans kidnappere

Norwegian TV news report / interview re; kidnapping of Kjartan Sekkingstad with comments by Australian Warren Rodwell #auspol (Norwegian and English spoken)
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I 472 dager var Warren Rodwell fangen til ekstremistgruppen Abu Sayyaf, som nå holder norske Kjartan Sekkingstad på Filippinene. Her forteller han om dødstrusler, propagandainnspilling, og om å betale seg til frihet.

Det er desember 2011. Ekstremister i den filippinske opprørsgruppen Abu Sayyaf tvinger den kidnappede australieren Warren Rodwell til å lese opp en beskjed.

En av gruppens medlemmer filmer alt.

– Vær så snill å hjelpe meg ut i live, sier den slitne mannen på filmen.

I videoen som ble publisert, og gikk verden rundt, krevde kidnapperne to millioner dollar for å slippe Rodwell fri. Hvis de ikke fikk pengene, truet de med å halshugge ham.

Warren overlevde, og er derfor en av få i verden som i dag kan fortelle hvordan det føles når voldelige ekstremister truer deg på livet i en propagandavideo:

– Tanken terroriserte meg totalt, sier han i et intervju med VG onsdag.

– De truet med å kutte hodet mitt. Jeg visste at det eneste de hadde var en sløv kniv. Jeg ble ekstremt stresset og jeg fikk massiv hodepine. Etter tre måneder i fangenskap klarte jeg å stenge tanken ute.


<p>BEVIS PÅ LIV: Rodwell ble fotografert og filmet ofte, slik at ekstremistene kunne bruke livstegnene i forhandlinger.<br/></p>
BEVIS PÅ LIV: Rodwell ble fotografert og filmet ofte, slik at ekstremistene kunne bruke livstegnene i forhandlinger.


Flyttet gjennom jungelen


Natt til tirsdag 22. september i år ble nordmannen Kjartan Sekkingstad (56) fra Sotra samt to kanadiske menn og en filippinsk kvinne bortført fra feriestedet Oceanview Resort på den lille øya Samal utenfor Mindanao sør i Filippinene. Ekstremistgruppen Abu Sayyaf, som har erklært troskap til terrororganisasjonen IS, la mandag ut bilder og video av gislene på nettet.


Les også:Norsk gissel på Filippinene ber om hjelp i islamist-video

Samme gruppe bortførte i april to tyske statsborgere, som ble frigitt i oktober, angivelig etter at det var betalt et stort beløp i løsepenger.

Warren Rodwell vet alt om å være ekstremistenes gissel. I løpet av 16 måneder ble han flyttet mellom 27 ulike leirer, dypt inne i jungelen på Filippinene. Han ble bedt om å ligge stille så mye som mulig, og om å holde seg i skjul. Han ble voktet av lokale, væpnede menn som jobbet for opprørerne.

Annenhver måned kom medlemmer av Abu Sayyaf til Rodwell og tok nye bilder – bevis på at han var i live. Det kunne de bruke i forhandlinger. Han ble bedt om å lese opp ulike budskap som opprørerne dikterte.

Kidnapping av utlendinger har vært god butikk i 25 år for Abu Sayyaf. Flere av utlendingene de har kidnappet siden år 2000 har blitt frigitt etter at store summer har blitt betalt. Ekstremistene har derimot ikke nølt med å drepe filippinske gisler, trolig fordi de uansett ikke har hatt håp om å få løsepenger for dem.


<p>VIST FREM: Dette bildet ble lagt ut på en islamistisk Twitter-konto tirsdag. Det viser gislene som ble bortført på Filippinene i september. Helt t.h. nederst sitter nordmannen Kjartan Sekkingstad. Foto: Twitter / NTB scanpix</p>
VIST FREM: Dette bildet ble lagt ut på en islamistisk Twitter-konto tirsdag. Det viser gislene som ble bortført på Filippinene i september. Helt t.h. nederst sitter nordmannen Kjartan Sekkingstad. Foto: Twitter / NTB scanpix


Gikk ned 30 kilo


For Rodwells del startet marerittet i australierens hjem på Ipil, på øya Mindanao sør på Filippinene. Fire menn brøt seg inn, skjøt ham i hånden og satte håndjern på ham. Deretter satte de gisselet i en båt og kjørte vekk.

– De var kriminelle amatører som senere ga meg videre til Abu Sayyaf, sier Rodwell.

Livet som fulgte var ødeleggende på alle måter for den tidligere australske soldaten:

– Jeg så ut som en krigsfange. Uten bevegelse og mat slutter nervene å fungere, og det påvirker organene.

Rodwell ble flyttet fra leir til leir, og det var liten tilgang på mat. Hvis han fikk mat, var det kun ris. Etter en tid mistet han 30 kilo av kroppsmassen sin.

Betalte ham fri

Mens fangenskapet trakk ut i tid, var australske og filippinske myndigheter kompromissløse: De nektet å betale løsepenger for gisselet. Regjeringen i Australia jobbet likevel på spreng for å finne en annen løsning. Sikkerhetstjenesten, ambassaden og militæret deltok i arbeidet.

Mens myndighetene var bunnet på hendene, fordi de ikke ønsket å betale penger til ekstremister og terrorister, fant familien en annen løsning:

De fikk skrapt sammen 100.000 dollar for å dekke geriljaens «utgifter til kost og losji». På den måten omgikk de lovverket, og Rodwell ble sluppet fri.

Fra 2013:Måtte betale for å få fri australsk gissel

– Frem til da hadde jeg så ofte blitt skuffet. Jeg hadde sluttet å håpe på å bli frigitt, sier han i dag.


<p>MISTET 30 KILO: Warren Rodwell ble totalforandret i fangenskap. Dette bildet er tatt like før kidnappingen i 2011.<br/></p>
MISTET 30 KILO: Warren Rodwell ble totalforandret i fangenskap. Dette bildet er tatt like før kidnappingen i 2011.


Betaling til grupper som Abu Sayyaf er et svært betent og kontroversielt tema. Den samme problemstillingen ble debattert etter at det ble kjent at nordmannen Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad var tatt av IS i Syria.

– Vi kan ikke og vil ikke gi etter for press fra terrorister og kriminelle. Norge betaler ikke løsepenger. Det er et prinsipp vi ikke kan fravike i møte med kyniske terrorister. Det vil øke risikoen for at andre norske borgere blir tatt til fange, sa Erna Solberg på pressekonferansen etter at nyheten om IS-kidnappingen var ute.

VG spør Rodwell hva han tenker om at han ble betalt fri.

– Skal man la mennesker dø? spør han.

Han fortsetter med å fortelle hvor desperat han etter hvert ble:

– Etter du går mer enn ett år uten mat, kroppen din forsvinner og ribbeinene kommer fram, du har hørt så mange løgner, du vil at alt skal slutte en måte eller en annen måte.

– Hadde jeg ikke blitt hjulpet, ville jeg avsluttet livet selv, sier han.


Mener det er håp

Selv om Abu Sayyafs leder Isnilon Totoni Hapilon for ett år siden sverget troskap til Den islamske staten (IS) og siden har gjennomført kidnappinger i deres navn, mener eksperter ifølge NTB at gruppens motiver i dag snarere er politiske og økonomiske enn religiøse.

Rodwell er enig.

– Der IS er ideologisk overbevist og bruker kidnappingene politisk, er medlemmene av Abu Sayyaf mest opptatt av penger. Det er håp for gislene som nå holdes av dem, sier han.


<p>LØSLATT: Rodwell ble etter løslatelsen plukket opp av et amerikansk militærhelikopter på Filippinene og fløyet til sykehus.<br/></p>

LØSLATT: Rodwell ble etter løslatelsen plukket opp av et amerikansk militærhelikopter på Filippinene og fløyet til sykehus.

Warren Rodwell (Australia) > Abu Sayyaf > Marites Flor (Philippines) Robert Hall & John Ridsdel (Canada) Kjartan Sekkingstad (Norway) ….. Terrorism > Australian Prime Minister
Warren Rodwell , John Ridsdel, Robert Hall , Kjartan Sekkingstad. Marite Flor

NORWEGIAN – ENGLISH Google translation of story …


In 472 days was Warren Rodwell prisoner extremist group Abu Sayyaf, which is now holding Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad the Philippines. Here he tells of death threats, propaganda recording, and to pay them to freedom.
It is December 2011. Extremists in the Philippine rebel group Abu Sayyaf forces kidnapped Australian Warren Rodwell to read out a message.

One of the group members films everything.

– Please help me out alive, said the tired man on film.

In the video, which was published and went around the world, demanded the kidnappers two million dollars to drop Rodwell free. If they did not get money, they threatened to behead him.

Warren survived, and is therefore one of the few in the world today can tell how it feels when violent extremists threaten you on life in a propaganda video:

– The idea terrorized me totally, he says in an interview with VG Wednesday.

– They threatened to cut off my head. I knew that the only thing they had was a dull knife. I was extremely stressed and I got massive headaches. After three months in captivity I managed to shut out the thought.
PROOF OF LIFE: Rodwell was photographed and filmed frequently so that extremists could use vital signs in negotiations.
Moved through the jungle
On the night of Tuesday 22 September this year the Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad (56) from Sotra and two Canadian men and a Filipina abducted from the resort Ocean View Resort on the tiny island of Samal outside Mindanao southern Philippines. Extremist group Abu Sayyaf, which has declared allegiance to the terror organization IS, On Monday the photos and video of the hostages online.

Read also: Norwegian hostage in the Philippines requesting assistance in Islamist video

Same group abducted in April two German nationals, who were released in October, reportedly after it was paid a huge amount in ransom.

Warren Rodwell knows all about being extremist hostage. During the 16 months he was moved between 27 different camps deep in the jungle in the Philippines. He was asked to lie still as much as possible and to remain in hiding. He was guarded by local armed men who worked for the rebels.

Bimonthly came members of the Abu Sayyaf to Rodwell and took new images – proof that he was alive. They could use in negotiations. He was asked to read the different messages that rebels dictated.

Kidnapping of foreigners have been good business for 25 years for Abu Sayyaf. Several of the foreigners they have kidnapped since 2000 has been released after huge sums have been paid. The extremists, however, has not hesitated to kill Filipino hostages, probably because the matter has not had the hope of getting a ransom for them.
Declined 30 kg
For Rodwell part started the nightmare of Australians home in Ipil, on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Four men broke in, shot him in the hand and handcuffed him. Then put the hostage in a boat and drove away.

– They were criminals amateurs who later gave me on to the Abu Sayyaf, said Rodwell.

Life that followed was devastating in every way for the former Australian soldier:

– I looked like a prisoner of war. Without movement and food stops the nerves to function, and it affects organs.

Rodwell was moved from camp to camp, and there was little access to food. If he got the food, it was just rice. After a time he lost 30 kg of body mass his.

Paid him free
While captivity pulled out in time, the Australian and Philippine authorities uncompromising: They refused to pay ransom for hostage. The Government of Australia was working still feverishly to find another solution. Security, the embassy and the military participated in the work.

While authorities were tied on their hands, because they wanted to pay money to extremists and terrorists, the family found another solution:

They had scraped together $ 100,000 to cover the guerrillas’ expenses for board and lodging. ” That way circumvented the law, and Rodwell was released.

2013: Had to pay to get free Australian hostage

– Until then, I had so often been disappointed. I had ceased to hope to be released, he said today.

LOST 30 KILOS: Warren Rodwell was completely changed in captivity. This picture was taken just before the kidnapping in 2011

Payment to groups like Abu Sayyaf is a very inflamed and controversial topic. The same issue was debated after it became known that the Norwegian Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad was taken by IS in Syria.

– We can not and will not succumb to pressure from terrorists and criminals. Norway does not pay ransom. It is a principle we can not deviate in the face of cynical terrorists. It will increase the risk that other Norwegian citizens are captured, said Erna Solberg at the press conference after news of the IS-kidnapping was out.

VG asks Rodwell what he thinks that he was paid off.

– Should we let people die? he asks.

He goes on to tell how desperate he became:

– After going more than a year without food, your body disappears and the ribs arrives, you’ve heard so many lies, you want everything to stop one way or another way.

– Had I not been helped, I would have ended life itself, he says.

Believes there is hope
Although Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Totoni Hapilon one year ago pledged allegiance to the Islamic state (IS) and has since conducted kidnappings in their name, believe experts according to NTB that the group’s motives today rather political and economic than religious.

Rodwell agree.

– Where IS are ideologically convinced and uses kidnappings politically, are members of the Abu Sayyaf most concerned about money. There is hope for the hostages currently held by them, he says.




Abu Sayyaf kidnappe sang / video / dokumentar
Skrevet av Warren R Rodwell (2015)
Komponert og fremført av Mad Cowboy Disease
Josie Critter



“SITUATION NOT NORMAL” Written by Warren R Rodwell / Composed & Performed by Mad Cowboy Disease



Many thanks to Matti at Finncut for the collation and presentation of this magnificent video clip. Also, kudos to the band Mad Cowboy Disease, featuring the deeeeeeeep bass voice of Josie Critter. Music produced, recorded and mixed by Stewart Peters SoundShed Music. It’s been a pleasure working with all of these guys.


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Viewers may care to click for further information about the ordeal(s) portrayed above and others perpetrated by terrorists as modern day events globally. WR 

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“472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell” by Dr. Bob East (Cambridge Scholars)  HARDCOVER BOOK / BIOGRAPHY 


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Warren Rodwell


Warren RodwellJosie Critter
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Who is Warren Rodwell ?

Warren R Rodwell; former soldier, university English teacher, prolific world traveller, and hostage survivor. Born in Sydney, he grew up in Tamworth NSW, and is the longest held Australian captive out of war. Warren Rodwell   His biography “472 Days Captive of The Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell” by Dr Bob East (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom) (2015) tells of prolonged hunger, beheading threats, and a $US2 million ransom demand.  Warren Rodwell   Warren Rodwell

A seasoned speaker, Warren is available for television/radio interviews, as well as public and motivational events. Creative-Ground-LinkedIn-for-Business  

The song “Situation Not Normal” co-written with renowned musician / composer Peter Brideoake can be freely viewed online

Warren Rodwell + Tamworth Guitar

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