Libyan Forces To Release New York Times Journalist, Oklahoma Native

Thursday, March 17th 2011, 10:17 pm
By: News 9

Jennifer Pierce, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Four New York Times journalists who were reported missing while covering the conflict in Libya have been found, the newspaper said Friday. The Times reported on its website that the four were captured by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Oklahoma City native Anthony Shadid is one of those journalists. The New York Times reported he and the others will be released by Libyan officials soon. They were captured in Libya Tuesday.

Shadid lives in Beirut, Lebanon, with his wife Nada Bakri, their nine-year-old daughter and six-month-old son. Bakri was notified early Friday morning by the New York Times that her husband was found and is safe in Tripoli. She said the Libyans have promised to release Shadid and the three other journalists soon. Bakri did speak to her husband by phone Friday, but said their conversation was very short.

"Anthony called and said he was doing very good and they were treating them very good. He just wants everybody to know he is safe and not harmed," Bakri said.

She said her husband was not scared, but more worried about his family and relatives in Oklahoma City.

Shadid's parents say they are thankful for everyone's prayers and grateful their son is safe and will be released.

This is not the first time the journalist has been in harm's way. Shadid is a two-time Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and has covered the war in Iraq.

"He has been shot by an Israeli sniper; the bullet came within a centimeter of paralyzing him. He was one of only six reporters to stay behind in Baghdad during the invasion in 2003. So he is doing a tremendous service for both the national and world community," said Shadid cousin, Dr. Ed Shadid.

Dr. Shadid said when his cousin visited Oklahoma City two weeks ago, he said he was nervous about going into Libya.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

More: Oklahoma Native Reported To Be Among Journalists Missing In Libya