A Group That Makes Hamas Look Moderate

A pro-Palestinian Italian citizen has been murdered by the Gaza version of al Qaeda:

An Italian activist found dead here early Friday was strangled with a plastic cord, apparently by abductors from a radical Islamic organization inspired by Al Qaeda that said it had kidnapped him a day earlier, according to a physician who performed an autopsy.

Police officers from Hamas, the group that rules Gaza, found the body of the pro-Palestinian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, in a house in Gaza City. The house was empty of furniture, other than a mattress on which the body was lying, according to witnesses.

The group that claimed the abduction, known as Tawhid and Jihad, had threatened to execute Mr. Arrigoni unless Hamas released its imprisoned leader, Hisham Saidani, who was arrested by Hamas forces in March. In a video released in the group's name on Thursday, the kidnappers set a 30-hour deadline that was to expire at 5 p.m. on Friday.

But the Palestinian doctor who performed an autopsy said the hostage seemed to have been killed at least 24 hours before the deadline was set to expire..

Tawhid and Jihad issued a denial of responsibility on Friday, but there was no way of verifying that claim, nor the earlier claim of responsibility for the video.
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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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