The Christian Science Monitor today wrapped up its first-person account of journalist Jill Carroll’s abduction in Iraq earlier this year.
I was particularly interested in the psychology of her abductors. The men who kidnapped Carroll murdered her translator, and they were apparently closely associated with al-Zarqawi. Yet they repeatedly expressed concern that she be comfortable, and they even repaid her for her laptop when they released her, seeming to want her to think she was treated well by them. What explains this hodgepodge of cruelty and kindness?