Fraser Nelson, Scotsman (Edinburgh), Aug. 11
An American journalist who was shot dead in Basra last week was executed by Shiite extremists who knew he was intending to marry his Muslim interpreter, it has emerged.
Steven Vincent was shot a week before the planned wedding to Nouriya Itais and had already delivered a $2,500 dowry to her family.
The disclosure casts new light on the grip of Islamic religious sects in the British-run south — east of Iraq — raising concern that they will take control once troops start to withdraw. Mr Vincent was abducted from his hotel three days after writing a piece in the New York Times accusing British officials of allowing religious parties to infiltrate the Basra police.
In America, his death was taken as retribution for his article. But in London yesterday, British officials pointed out that the police in Basra believed it was retribution for his affair.
“We warned him to look after his security in a more professional manner than he was doing,” said the official.
The couple were found by Iraqi police after being shot by their captors. Medics managed to save Ms Itais.