20th-25th June 2009

James Brandon, a senior research fellow at Quilliam, has made over a dozen appearances on international and national media in the last week to discuss hostage-taking in Iraq and the British government’s response to kidnapping incidents involving British citizens. In 2004 Brandon was kidnapped and held hostage by a Shia militia in Basra in Iraq while working as a freelance journalist for The Sunday Telegraph.

Brandon has been highly critical of the government’s ‘no talks, no concessions’ policy in kidnap cases, advocating instead direct negotiations with hostage-takers and even the payment of ransoms where all other approaches have failed.

Brandon has been interviewed on a wide range of media outlets including BBC World Service radio, the BBC News Channel, Sky News, BBC Radio Wales, Radio 5 Live and al-Arabiya TV. He was quoted by BBC news online as saying that “We’ve had British hostages kidnapped and killed in Iraq, in west Africa most recently. The present strategy isn’t delivering results, it seems to be making life more dangerous for people, rather than safer.”

On Thursday 25 June, he also appeared on the One Show on BBC1 to discuss the government’s approach to kidnapping incident with Terry Waite.