Freed American Journalist Is Reunited With Her Family

By RON DePASQUALE and CHRISTINE HAUSER
Published: April 3, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/03/us/03carroll.html?th&emc=th

BOSTON, April 2 Jill Carroll, the American reporter who was held hostage for 82 days in Iraq, arrived in the United States on Sunday and was whisked from the airport here for a joyful reunion with her family.

"I finally feel like I am alive again," said Ms. Carroll, 28, according to a report posted Sunday on the Web site of The Christian Science Monitor, the newspaper she was working for as a freelance reporter when she was kidnapped in Baghdad on Jan. 7.

"I feel so good," Ms. Carroll said. "To be able to step outside anytime, to feel the sun directly on your face to see the whole sky. These are luxuries that we just don't appreciate every day."

Ms. Carroll arrived at Logan International Airport just after noon from Frankfurt, where she had been flown after her release.

Ms. Carroll's return was the end of an ordeal that started on a Baghdad street when gunmen attacked the car she was in. They killed her translator, Allan Enwiya, while her driver escaped.

Armed militants who said they were part of a group called the Revenge Brigades twice issued threats to kill her if their demands were not met. Three videotapes were released, showing Ms. Carroll either calling for the release of female Iraqi detainees or pleading for help.

Last Thursday, her captors dropped her off on a Baghdad street and she went into the offices of a political party for help.

During her captivity, The Christian Science Monitor said, Ms. Carroll was coerced into making a videotape praising the Iraqi insurgency and condemning the American presence in Iraq.

"During my last night of captivity, my captors forced me to participate in a propaganda video," she said in a statement released by The Monitor.She said her comments on the tape were not her own views. She called her captors "criminals, at best."

Ron DePasquale reported from Boston for this article, and Christine Hauser from New York.