Jill Carroll’s Parents Say ‘Thanks’

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The family of the American journalist held captive in Iraq for 82 days issued a public thank-you Sunday to everyone who helped win her release.

In a statement released by The Christian Science Monitor, Jill Carroll’s parents, Jim and Mary Beth, and sister, Katie, thanked the U.S. military, American officials in Baghdad and Jordan, and “security consultants” who worked with the paper in Iraq, among others.

“We wish to express our gratitude to the many people and organizations whose contributions we were aware of, and acknowledge those that cannot be named, for their own safety, and due to the continuing nature of their important work,” they wrote.

“We may never be certain which steps actually led to her release,” the family said.

Among the individuals the family thanked were Jassim Boodai, chairman of the Alrai TV station in Kuwait; Iraqi Sheikh Sattam Al Gaood; and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in Baghdad.

Monitor officials say they don’t know why she was released but have assigned reporters to the story.

The family’s statement is to be published in the Monitor on Monday as a letter to the editor.

A Michigan native and 1999 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Carroll remains in Boston with her family and was unlikely to speak to the media for at least another week, a Monitor spokeswoman said Sunday.

The 28-year-old journalist was a freelancer for the Boston-based newspaper when she was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad. The newspaper added her to its staff a week later. She was released March 30 and returned to the United States on April 2.

The kidnappers, a formerly unknown group calling themselves the Revenge Brigade, had demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq, saying Carroll would be killed otherwise. U.S. officials did release some female detainees but said the decision was unrelated to the demands.

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