Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

The former Lebanon captive, American journalist Terry Anderson, died at 76.

By knl9j Apr22,2024
News

Terry Anderson, who had been held hostage by Islamist terrorists for a period of six years, passed away on Sunday at the age of 76, according to an announcement made by the American news agency.

Anderson had been the former head of the Beirut bureau of the Associated Press.

According to the Associated Press (who cited Mr. Anderson’s daughter Sulome), Mr. Anderson passed away at his house in Greenwood Lake (northeast) as a result of complications following heart surgery.

From the year 1985 until the year 1991, he was held captive in Lebanon by Islamic Jihad.

He had become one of the emblems of the dangers that Western nationals and journalists and other Western nations confront in Lebanon. He was a former marine who had been kidnapped after playing a game of tennis.

He authored his memoir, which was a best-seller and recounted his time spent in captivity, and dubbed it The Lions’ Den once he was released.

Before traveling to Lebanon in 1982 to cover the Israeli invasion, Mr. Anderson worked for the Associated Press in numerous countries, including the United States, Japan, and South Africa. During the time that the nation was falling into anarchy, he remained there.

According to his daughter, Terry Anderson, a journalist from the United States who was held captive by Islamist extremists in Lebanon for almost seven years and who became a symbol of the misery of western captives during the civil war that ensued in Lebanon from 1975 to 1990, has passed away at the age of 76.

According to Sulome Anderson, who was born three months after her father was taken captive, the former top Middle East journalist for the Associated Press passed away on Sunday at his home in Greenwood Lake, New York. He was the hostage who had been kept for the longest period of time among the scores of westerners who had been kidnapped in Lebanon before his death. The cause of death was not established.

The former marine later recalled that he “almost went insane” and that his Catholic faith was the only thing that prevented him from killing himself before he was released in December 1991. He was held captive in cells that were barely lit by groups that were predominantly Shia Muslim during what was known as the hostage crisis. He was chained by his hands and feet and blindfolded for the majority of the time.

Despite the fact that my father’s life was marked by great agony during his time as a prisoner in captivity, he ultimately discovered a peaceful and comfortable serenity in the most recent years of his life. According to Anderson, “I am certain that he would prefer to be remembered not by his most traumatic experience, but rather by the humanitarian work he did with the Vietnam Children’s Fund, the Committee to Protect Journalists, homeless veterans, and a great number of other remarkable causes.”

She stated that the family will require some time in order to organize a memorial service.

The trauma that Anderson was going through started in Beirut on the morning of March 16, 1985, after he had finished playing a game of tennis. Upon the arrival of a green Mercedes sedan with drapes draped over the back window, three armed individuals stepped out of the vehicle and dragged Anderson into the vehicle.

The pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad organization asserted that they were responsible for the kidnapping and stated that it was a part of their “continuing operations against Americans.” Those who kidnapped Shia Muslims and imprisoned them in Kuwait for carrying out terrorist attacks against the embassies of the United States and France sought their freedom.

Anderson was held captive for a period of six years and nine months, during which time he was held in cells beneath the rubble-strewn streets of Beirut and other locations. He was frequently not provided with any nourishment and slept on a small mattress that was soiled and placed on a concrete floor. Additionally, he did not see his daughter until she was six years old, and both his father and brother passed away as a result of cancer during this time period.

In the immediate aftermath of his release, he expressed, “What kept me going? It is my companions. The majority of the time, I was fortunate enough to have folks with me. My steadfastness and my devotion. No matter what, you have to do it. The moment you open your eyes each morning, you muster the strength from some source. You get the feeling that you are not capable of doing it, but you manage to make it through the day. Day after day after day after day.”

During his time in captivity, Anderson was noted by other captives as being tough and energetic. He was learning French and Arabic and working out on a regular basis.

On the other hand, they also related the story of him hitting his head against a wall until he bled out of frustration over being beaten, being isolated, having false hopes, and having the impression that the outside world was ignoring him.

Anderson stated on a videotape that was leaked by his captors in December of 1987 that “there is a limit of how long we can last and some of us are approaching the limit very badly.”

Marcel Fontaine, a French ambassador who was liberated in May 1988 after being held captive for three years, described the period when Anderson, his cellmate, believed that freedom was close at hand since he was let to see the sun and eat a hamburger.

In April of 1987, Anderson was presented with a set of clothing that had been crafted just for him by his captors. According to Fontaine, “He wore it every single day.” After a week had passed, however, Anderson’s kidnappers returned the outfit, leaving him in a state of hopelessness and confident that he had been forgotten, according to Fontaine.

In the time that he was held captive, his sister, Peggy Say, who passed away in 2015, was his most ardent supporter. In addition to lobbying the Pope, the archbishop of Canterbury, and every official and politician in the United States, she traveled to the capitals of both Arab and European countries.

The Reagan administration, in response to criticism from the media and the families of the American hostages, negotiated a covert and unlawful agreement in the middle of the 1980s to permit armament shipments to Iran in exchange for the release of American hostages. However, the agreement, which is commonly referred to as the Iran-Contra incident, did not succeed in freeing any of the hostages.

Following his release, Anderson went on to teach journalism at a number of prestigious institutions, including Columbia University in New York, Ohio University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Florida, until he finally tied the knot in 2015.

He made investments in a number of businesses, including a restaurant and a horse ranch in the state of Ohio. In 2004, he attempted to run for the Ohio state senate as a Democrat but was unsuccessful. In 2002, he filed a lawsuit against Iran in federal court for his kidnapping and won a settlement that was worth multiple millions of dollars.

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