Austin Tice’s family will return to Beirut

The Family of Austin Tice | Associated Press

Washington Post and McClatchy freelancer Austin Tice has been missing for nearly a year, and his family plans “to return to Beirut to reach more deeply into the region on behalf of our son.” The family website says:

With the exception of a distressing 47 second video released in September, we have had no contact from Austin or his captors. We do not know with certainty who is holding him captive.

The video, Terry Wallace reports for the Associated Press, “shows Tice trying to recite the Muslim declaration of faith, or shahada, until he switches to English and says, ‘Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus,’ and rests his head on a captor’s arm.”

Earlier this month, GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni said another missing journalist, James Foley, “is being held with one or more Western journalists, including most likely at least one other American.”

When I asked McClatchy Washington Bureau Chief James Asher if Tice might be the other journalist, he said: “Since August we continue to worry about his safety and hope for his eventual return to his family. Unfortunately there is little more we can say now.”

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