Quid Pro Quo
Maybe there was a catch to Alan Johnston's release. On July 5 the Daily Telegraph reported this item in the timeline describing the BBC's reporters captivity.
May 9: Tape released from a group called Jaish al-Islam (The Army of Islam). It demands Britain release Palestinian-born cleric Abu Qatada, and it contains an image of Johnston's BBC identity card.
May 16: Qatada said to be prepared to travel to Gaza in attempt to secure Johnston's release. ...
July 2: Hamas says it has made arrests over the abduction of Johnston.
July 4: Johnston is released following an agreement reached between Hamas and the Army of Islam.
Since then the many journalists have been praising Hamas for restoring order in Gaza. But now WND suggests that Britain paid a price.
In exchange for the release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, Britain told the Hamas terror group through mediators it would free from jail an extremist sheik accused of serving as al-Qaida's spiritual adviser in Europe, Palestinian sources involved in the negotiations claimed to WND.
Palestinian sources involved in the Johnston negotiations said Hamas passed to the British government the Army of Islam's demand for the freedom of Abu Qatada and also warned if Hamas stormed the Gaza compound in which Johnston was known to have been held, the BBC reporter likely would have been killed in the rescue attempt.
The Palestinian sources involved in the negotiations claimed in recent days as Hamas encircled the Army of Islam compound and threatened a rescue operation in which Hamas said Johnston's death was very possible, the British government expressed its willingness to free Qatada.
The sources involved in the negotiations claimed yesterday, hours before Johnston's release, the British government agreed to release Qatada within a period of six months. The sources said that pledge was immediately passed to the Army of Islam in a meeting between its leader, Mumtaz Dugmash, and Hamas "military wing" commander Ahmad Jabari.
Let's see if Qatada is in fact released any time soon. Nothing follows.