During the five days Richard Engel and a crew of four others were held in Syria, the kidnappers “didn’t really know who we were,” Engel told Savannah Guthrie during an interview that aired Friday on the “Today” show. The NBC News chief foreign correspondent also described their escape.
We weren’t expecting, obviously, a rescue, but the rebels knew we were in the area. They’d been alerted. They’d been alerted by NBC. They’d been alerted by other friendly forces who had told the rebels, ‘You’ve got people in your neighborhood. Increase your security. Go find these people.’ That pressure inspired our kidnappers to move us to a safer place, deeper into their territory. And if we had gotten to that territory, that’s goodbye. You wouldn’t see us for a long, long time or you may never see us again.”
During that move, they were freed by the rebels.
The ordeal, Engel said, is “not gonna change what I’m doing with my life, what is my life.”