AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Jordan said Thursday a veteran Jordanian TV reporter who interviewed Osama bin Laden months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks was kidnapped earlier this month in the Philippines.
In Manila, however, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said authorities still consider Baker Atyani and his Filipino crewmen missing, adding that intelligence showed he had been interviewing Islamic militants from the Abu Sayyaf group in their mountain strongholds in the southern Sulu province. Robredo oversees the national police, which have been dealing with Atyani’s disappearance.
Police in the Philippines said last week that Atyani disappeared on June 12 with four other people on a restive southern Philippine island where Muslim militants are active. The 43-year-old Atyani is Southeast Asia bureau chief for pan-Arab satellite television station Al-Arabiya.
In Jordan, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Sabah Rafei said Jordanian authorities have information through “contacts” that Atyani was abducted. It was the first official confirmation of the kidnapping. She said efforts were being made to secure Mr. Atyani’s safe release.
Associated Press writer Jim Gomez in the Philippines contributed to this report.