Former hostage Warren Rodwell slams 60 Minutes

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

.liz burke

 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

- a 60 minutes atrocious WR

“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.

1-- the australian 60 minutes

“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.

principal agent

“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

- a a NRL Origin Warren Rodwell


Warren Rodwell on Terrorists and #ParisAttacks

PODCAST #auspol Warren Rodwell on Terrorists and #ParisAttacks | CB115 Click to listen online

Posted on November 23, 2015 by John Rapp


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Islamic terrorist group Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Warren Rodwell and held him hostage for 15 months. Abu Sayyaf is so hardcore, Al Qaeda criticized them for being too extreme. Warren tells us about Abu Sayaaf masturbating, watching French pornography, and trying to give Warren a terrorist homosexual massage.

Warren talks about removing troops from Syria, Russia blocking Australia and Japan from the G20 conference, and later, Warren breaks down the entire History Of Man.


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Warren also tells us about Islamic people having sex with goats and selling the meat to neighboring villages, the White Australia Policy, riding a water buffalo, Banana Benders, Crow Eaters, and who controls the media.

The Genghis Khan DNA Blood Test

Also in this episode we talk about the INDYpendent podcast awards ceremony, Indie vs Indy, and John destroys his iPad while playing SHADOWGUN: DeadZone. And Chris wants to take the Genghis Khan DNA blood test.

Who Controls The Media?

“The six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States.” – Google

Check out Warren Rodwell’s official site at

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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

‘They can’t simply come in and take a criminal back’ ( East Malaysia )

PAPAR, May 25, 2015:

Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman denied any partnership with their Filipino counterparts on the extradition of a former policeman wanted for his alleged involvement in a four-year-old kidnapping.

Warren RodwellWarren Rodwell coffee

“There is no MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the Malaysian and Philippines police to extradite anyone, and if there is, it should be done via a government-to-government basis.

“They cannot simply come in and take the criminal back, it’s illegal,” he said, alluding to the Philippines’ police force.

rakyat post

Jalaluddin said this when met after visiting the Sri Pritchard Old Folks Home in Kinarut, today, in conjunction with the police 208th anniversary.

He was commenting on a news report by the Philippine-based news portal GMA News Online on their law enforcement authorities’ ‘visit to Malaysia last week to take custody of a former policeman arrested for his alleged involvement in the 2011 kidnapping of Australian national Warren Rodwell in Zamboanga Sibugay.

1 POLWarren Rodwell watercolour

According to the news report, Jun A. Malban, who was arrested by Malaysian authorities in Lahad Datu, last month, has a pending arrest warrant for kidnapping for ransom issued by their Regional Trial Court B Zamboanga.

The news report said that Rodwell was abducted by the notorious Abu Sayyaf group in Ipil town in December 2011 and was released on March 23, 2013.

1-jun malbanhave we met before meme

Malban, who was allegedly using the alias Michael Soo/Zue, was identified by Rodwell as the negotiator and spokesperson of the Abu Sayyaf during his captivity.

When further asked to confirm the news report, Jalaluddin replied: “You believe such news? All I can say is the Philippines law enforcement authorities cannot simply come in and “take” a suspect detained in this country.

distraction-cartoon-Crime  Against Humanity

“It has to be through the agreement between both governments, not between the security forces.”

472 Days Captive


Warren Rodwell – Wikipedia

Warren Richard Rodwell (born June 16, 1958 [62] Homebush NSW) [63] a former soldier [64] in the Australian Army, and university English teacher,[65] grew up in Tamworth NSW [66] He was shot through the right hand when seized [67] from his home at Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugayon the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines on December 5, 2011 [68] by Abu Sayyaf (ASG) militants.[69] Rodwell later had to have a finger amputated.[70]

The ASG threatened to behead Rodwell [71] if the original ransom demand for $US2 million was not paid.[72] Both the Philippine and Australian governments had strict policies of refusing to pay ransoms.[73] Australia formed a multi-agency task force to assist the Philippine authorities, and liaise with Rodwell’s family.[74] A news blackout was imposed.[75] Filipino politicians helped negotiate the release.[76] After the payment of $AUD94,000 [77] for “board and lodging” expenses [78] by his siblings, Rodwell was released 472 days later on March 23, 2013.[79] The incumbent Australian prime minister praised the Philippines government for securing Rodwell’s release. Tribute was also made to Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Federal Police and Defence.[80] Rodwell subsequently returned to Australia.[81]

As part of the 2015 Australia Day Honours, Australian Army Lieutenant Colonel Paul Joseph Barta was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) for outstanding devotion to duty as the Assistant Defence Attaché Manila during the Australian whole of government response to the Rodwell kidnap for ransom (and immediately following, the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan). At the 2015 Australian Federal Police Foundation Day award ceremony in Canberra, fourteen AFP members received the Commissioners’ Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct for their work in support of the Philippine National Police and Australian Government efforts to release Australian man Warren Rodwell.[82]

By the end of his 15 months as a hostage in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Rodwell had lost about 30 kilograms in weight due to starvation,[83] His biography 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by independent researcher Dr Robert (Bob) East was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom (2015) ISBN 1-4438-7058-7 [84]

In January 2015, Mindanao Examiner newspaper reported the arrest of Barahama Ali [85] kidnap gang sub-leaders linked to the kidnapping of Warren Rodwell, who was seized by at least 5 gunmen (disguised as policemen), and eventually handed over or sold by the kidnappers to the Abu Sayyaf in Basilan province.[86]

In May 2015, ex-Philippine National Police (PNP) officer Jun A. Malban was arrested in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia for the crime of “Kidnapping for Ransom” after Rodwell identified him as the negotiator/spokesperson of the Abu Sayyaf Group during his captivity. Further PNP investigation revealed that Malban is the cousin of Abu Sayyaf leaders Khair Mundos and Borhan Mundos. The director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) stated that Malban’s arrest resulted from close coordination by the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines) and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission with the Malaysian counterparts and through Interpol. [87]

Back row / 3rd from left - Warren Rodwell 1969 Under 11 West Tamworth Public School rugby league team

Back row / 3rd from left – Warren Rodwell 1969 Under 11 West Tamworth Public School rugby league team

Warren Rodwell : 3rd row / 5th from left 1969 aged 11 @ Tamworth West Public School NSW Australia

Warren Rodwell : 3rd row / 5th from left 1969 aged 11 @ Tamworth West Public School NSW Australia

3rd row / 1st on right aged 9 1967 - Tamworth West Public School

Warren Rodwell : 3rd row / 1st on right 1967 aged 9 @ Tamworth West Public School NSW Australia


Australian Federal Police members have been acknowledged at a Foundation Day award ceremony in Canberra.


Fourteen AFP members received the Commissioners’ Group Citation for Conspicuous Conduct for their work in support of the Philippine National Police and Australian Government efforts to release Australian man Warren Rodwell, who was held captive by militants in the southern Philippines for 15 months.


In presenting the awards, Commissioner Andrew Colvin thanked all members for their commitment to the community.

“These awards are a testament to the AFP’s ability to continually achieve successful outcomes and adapt to an ever-changing environment,” Commissioner Colvin said.

Warren Rodwell

“The AFP will continue to face many challenges, and looking at the calibre of our award recipients today, you will agree that we are well placed to meet these challenges.”


Abu Sayyaf agrees to free Australian Warren Rodwell

THE NEWS BEFORE IT HAPPENS  … ( Warren Rodwell actually released March 23, 2013 )

MANILA, Philippines – Kidnappers of Australian Warren Richard Rodwell have agreed to release him Thursday, March 21, two senior intelligence officials told Rappler.

As of 7 pm, “negotiations” for Rodwell’s release “are over…and he might be released” to a local Basilan official in Barangay Cabangalan, in the remote town of Tipo Tipo, according to a military intelligence officer.

The Abu Sayyaf kidnapped Rodwell, 54, from his home in Ipil, Zamboanga del Sur on Dec 5, 2011. The kidnap group initially set a P1-million ransom, but raised it to US$2-M by early 2012.

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According to another intelligence official, local officials and the police are “just working on the process to transfer custody” from kidnappers to local executives. As of posting, however, our sources said Rodwell was not yet in the hands of the local executives.

In December last year, accounts on Facebook and YouTube posted and shared a video of Rodwell, holding a copy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer from Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012. Wearing a black t-shirt, his hair is cropped short, his cheeks sunken. He spoke with a weary air.

“This video clip today is to say that I am alive,” Rodwell tells the camera. “I am waiting to be released. I have no idea what’s going on outside. I am just being held in isolation.”

He added: “I do not expect to be released before the year 2013 at the earliest. I personally hold no hope at all for being released. I do not trust the Abu Sayyaf. I do not trust the Australian government.”

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Sources in western and Philippine intelligence earlier told Rappler negotiations have been difficult largely because it’s unclear who will lead it. Leadership has shifted, and there seem to be differing goals and tactics employed by at least two agencies: the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

Excluding Rodwell, there are 7 foreigners in the hands of kidnappers in Mindanao — one Japanese, one Swiss, one Dutch, one Jordanian and 3 Malaysians.

Last February 2, kidnappers released the TV crew of Jordanian journalist Baker Atyani of the Dubai-based Al Arabiya

network. The ASG released Atyani’s cameraman Ramil Vela and audio technician Roland “Buboy” Letrero on Jolo island; but Atyani remains in captivity. The 3 were kidnapped in June 2012. –

LIBERAL PARTY Leader Tony Abbott comments on Warren Rodwell

Mr Abbott, the Australian man in the Philippines, Warren Rodwell, has released a proof of life video pleading for help from the Ambassador. Should the Government be doing more to help?

This is a delicate and dangerous situation with a human life in the balance. I believe the Government is doing everything it reasonably can and it naturally in these circumstances has the full support of the Opposition.

Tony Abbott

Do you support the Government helping to raise a ransom?

I’m just not going to comment on the details of this situation. I’m not going to comment on particular demands that may have been made, particular measures that may be in contemplation. It’s a very difficult, delicate, dangerous situation. A human life is in the balance and I think the less public commentary the better.



gallus australis

Ittay Flescher looks at the Israeli TV series commencing this Saturday night on SBS.
I doubt many Australians have ever heard of Warren Rodwell, who was kidnapped over a year ago by the Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda in the Philippines. His image does not appear in our streets, we hold no rallies for him, and we wear no dog tags or wrist bands that bear his name.

Prisoners of War


The Invisible Survivor

March 9, 2015 – 3:29 pm
by Ittay Flescher ( Galus Australis )
gallus australis
Jewish Life in the Antipodes

At the start of 2warren rodwell 1013 I wrote an article for Galus Australis in the lead up to the Israeli TV Series Prisoners of War (Hatufim) being screened on SBS. It began with the following paragraph:

“I doubt many Australians have ever heard of Warren Rodwell, who was kidnapped over a year ago by the Abu Sayyaf, a group linked to al-Qaeda in the Philippines. His image does not appear in our streets, we hold no rallies for him, and we wear no dog tags or wrist bands that bear his name. The same cannot be said of Israel’s captives, who instantly become household names the day they go missing. “

The article went on to explore the psychology of returned soldiers and the impact of captivity on their families.

Since writing the article, not only has Warren Rodwell been released from captivity, but to my great amazement, he recently found me through Facebook, after which we had a fascinating phone conversation. A former English teacher, Rodwell had travelled the world exploring, educating and volunteering before being kidnapped for ransom due to being a westerner. He is now living in Brisbane. Reflecting later on our hour long conversation, I was left with the impression that Rodwell is a person of incredible mental strength.

Rodwell was kept prisoner for a total of 472 days, making him the longest held Australian captive outside of official Prisoners-of-War (POWs). During his time as a human bargaining chip, he was moved 28 times between various island jungle hideouts. Denied any form of mental stimulation, he maintained his sanity during captivity by using each day to review a different moment in his life and his various travels across the globe.

Hunger was a constant companion and by the end of his 15 months as a hostage Rodwell had lost about 30 kilograms. His captors suffered from the same lack of food and sickness.  “I’d observe their behaviours and because I’d see a change in guards I’d also see some of them getting sick, others going crazy,” he said.

warren rodwell 2

“That was always refreshing, when you see that those who are supposed to be in the more powerful situation are suffering more than you are.”

He says he struggled each day to stay in control of his mind. “I’ve always had a passion for numbers, and I’d lived in China for some time so I’d add up the number like the Chinese do … trying to solve mathematical problems.”

His situation prompted him to reflect on his life and the lives of all the people he had known. “I thought to myself that I wanted to at least outlive my mother.” Keeping track of time and dates was important, and he says he will never forget the date of his release.

“I asked the port guard is it after midnight? He said yeah. I said great. It’s my mother’s birthday.”

Reflecting on our conversation, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Victor Frankl’s book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, which I read every Yom Kippur.  Surprisingly, Warren had already shared an article on January 27 about this incredible Auschwitz survivor and psychiatrist. One of Frankl’s most empowering reflections from his time in captivity was that “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

This is an incredible mental skill which Warren very much embodies to this day.

Rodwell’s book about his time in captivity can be purchased here. Ittay Flescher is a Jewish Educator in Melbourne who has given lectures at Limmud conferences across the globe about the trauma of war and is interested in hearing your story.



Thanks for your interest and comments, Ittay. There is also a song SITUATION NOT NORMAL based on my ordeal, written by Peter Brideoake and (myself) Warren Rodwell. It is free to view or download on YouTube , Vimeo or DailyMotion.

If anyone is interested in doing a cover version gratis, especially in Hebrew (ignoring my spoken words in the tune), please contact me through Facebook , LinkedIn or Twitter. WR

NOTE: Although Warren Rodwell has visited Israel, he is not Jewish.

BOOK OF THE MONTH February 2015 – 60% DISCOUNT ( CSP )

Book of the Month – February 2015


Cambridge Scholars Publishing

February 2015 ‘Book of the Month’ is 472 Days Captive of the Abu Sayyaf: The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell by Bob East.

WR Biography

With global terrorism on the rise, and the sinister increase in the taking of hostages by terrorist organisations, this book is particularly timely – making for essential reading across a range of disciplines, and for the general interested reader.


Documenting the kidnapping of Warren Richard Rodwell, an Australian university teacher and ex-member of the Australian Army, by a notorious terrorist/insurgent organisation, the Abu Sayyaf Group, the book describes a remarkable tale of survival. Held captive for 472 days in various jungle hideouts in the islands of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, Rodwell endured an untreated gunshot wound and an almost starvation diet, losing over one third of his body weight. When he was finally released in March 2013, he was emaciated, physically and emotionally at the lowest point in his life, and totally bewildered. During his period of obligatory debriefing by both Philippine and Australian authorities, an amazing tale of perseverance unfolded. Rodwell’s determination to overcome all obstacles in his path to eventual freedom is the quintessence of all that is dear in life – life itself.


60% off
To find out more, please click link below to read a sample extract and contents page.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing  are offering all of their readers a generous 60% discount on this best-selling title. To redeem your discount, please enter the promotional code BOMFEB15 during checkout. Please note that this is a time-limited offer that will expire on 8th March 2015.

Please see below for highlights of the praise this book has been receiving:

Abu Sayyaf

“On 5 December 2011, Warren Rodwell was kidnapped from his adopted home in Ipil, Zamboanga province in the southern Philippines by the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group. Rodwell survived 15 months as a captive – a rare feat given the organisation’s reputation for beheading captives whose ransom is not quickly paid. This is the story of Rodwell’s ordeal, and how he survived against the odds.”

—Dr Damien Kingsbury, Professor of Asian Political and Security Studies, Deakin University, Australia


Cambridge Scholars

“Warren Rodwell’s story is one of modern day survival. Kidnapped by Islamic extremists while living in the Philippines, Warren survived for 15 months in captivity being moved from location to location. How he maintained his sanity let alone his life is an incredible feat of courage, guts and determination. Warren’s story proves that where there is life there is definitely hope. A true inspiration.”

—David Richardson, Senior Journalist, 7 News Investigations and Features, Australia

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