Worst Nightmare

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," January 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: A top Sunni leader appealed to Iraqi terrorists for the release of American journalist Jill Carroll. Carroll was supposed to meet with that leader nearly two weeks ago on the day she was kidnapped.

Her father is also sending out a statement to his daughter's captors. In a televised message, he tells them that sparing her life would serve their cause more than her death. "Big Story Weekend" host Julie Banderas joins us now with the story of another journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq.

JULIE BANDERAS, HOST, "BIG STORY WEEKEND": Yes, John, absolutely. Adnan al-Dulaimi now is urging all militants to protect journalists, he says, "regardless of their nationality."

Now, more than 240 foreigners have been taken hostage in Iraq, and at least 39 people have been killed since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. And it's a scary, scary fact to think that Jill Carroll may not have the same luck as our next guest.

We're joined now by someone who is all too familiar with the situation, Stephen Farrell. He's a Middle East correspondent for The Times of London and Stephen was abducted by gunmen outside of Fallujah in April 2004. Stephen, thanks so much for being here.

Now, Stephen, you were abducted alongside with a female journalist, in fact. You were lucky, though. You survived, obviously. You were released the same day. How were the two of you actually treated differently though? This is interesting, pertaining to Jill Carroll's case. A man and a woman both abducted, both journalists, but treated completely differently.

STEPHEN FARRELL, THE TIMES OF LONDON: Yes, they were more respectful to her, noticeably. I mean, within the first two or three minutes of the kidnap we were both in the back of the same taxi, surrounded by people with guns coming out of everywhere. And I was being headbutted and they were trying to blindfold me.

But when one of them even sought to touch her — I think he was after her money belt, we're not quite sure — you know, she sort of shrieked, you know, "You're a Muslim. You're a Muslim." And all of the others immediately said, you know, "Don't touch her. Leave her alone." So there was an element of difference there.

BANDERAS: OK, let's just get back to that day. You were diverted onto a side road from the main highway to Baghdad. And you apparently went to make a U-turn in the dirt. One of your tires, apparently, on your car blew. Tell us what happened next.

FARRELL: Yes, well, that's absolutely right. We turned around. We were heading back towards the main road where we knew there were American soldiers, but it either blew or they shot it out. We just don't know. And within seconds, they were around the car pointing, I don't know how many Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades at us. And then we just threw open the doors and got out screaming, "Journalist, journalist!" in Arabic. And they bundled us into a taxi and took us off.

BANDERAS: And then later, they treated you to lunch, once they apologized. And that's the shocking outcome of your story in particular, right?

FARRELL: Yes. I mean, effectively, we met the leader, who was a very tall, scary guy. And, I mean, he spoke very good English. And I was talking to him for about 20 minutes. And they laid down the ground rules: "And if you're journalists, we'll let you go. If you're contractors or soldiers or spies, we're going to kill you."

And he then seemed to give them some sort of nod that basically said, "Well, check them out, and if their stories clear, let them go," because that's what happened.


FARRELL: But it was a long 10 hours of interrogation, going back over the same ground again and again and again.

BANDERAS: All right, well, Stephen Farrell, thanks so much for talking to us today. We appreciate hearing your story.

All right, John.

GIBSON: Thanks a lot, Julie. And you can check out Julie every weekend on "The Big Story Weekend" Saturdays and Sundays at 5:00 p.m., just like this one. She's "Big Story Weekend." This, of course, is "Big Story Classic," right here on the FOX News Channel.

Content and Programming Copyright 2006 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2006 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.