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Freed Japanese freelance journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka arrives for a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. Tsuneoka was kidnapped in April, when he traveled to a Taliban-controlled area in northern Afghanistan, and was released Saturday night to a Japanese Embassy. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

You just cannot make this stuff up.  Moreover, this man is lucky to have gotten out alive and with his head intact.  I also suspect that his being a Muslim and the fact that his captors were not tech savvy helped.


“TOKYO (AP) – A Japanese journalist held hostage in Afghanistan for five months managed to send out a message via Twitter that he was alive when his captors asked him how to use a cell phone.

Just days before he was freed, Kosuke Tsuneoka said one of the militants brought him his new cell phone and asked the prisoner to set it up.

The younger militants were more interested in accessing Al-Jazeera on the phone, but Tsuneoka managed to shift their attention to Twitter, successfully getting them to ask him to demonstrate how it worked.

‘That’s how I got the message out,’ Tsuneoka told a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, a day after he arrived safely back in Japan. ‘I’m sure they never thought they were tricked.’

A couple of days later, the militants—whom Tsuneoka said identified themselves as members of Hizb-e-Islami but posed as Taliban to the Japanese government—set him free in part because he is a Muslim. He had converted to Islam in 2000.

The Japanese government said it paid no ransom to free Tsuneoka. He said he believes that because the captors didn’t seem to be overjoyed at the time of his release or suggest they had received any cash….”