Jill Carroll’s family grateful

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BOSTON (AP) – Jill Carroll’s family issued public thanks on Sunday to everyone from the U.S. military and the Kingdom of Jordan to people they say they can’t name “for their own safety,” who helped win the release of the American journalist, who was held captive for 82 days in Baghdad.

“We may never be certain which steps actually led to her release,” the reporter’s parents, Jim and Mary Beth Carroll, and sister, Katie, said in a statement released by The Christian Science Monitor.

The 28-year-old journalist was a freelancer for the Boston-based newspaper when she was kidnapped Jan. 7 in Baghdad. The newspaper added her to its staff a week later. She was released March 30 and returned to the United States last Sunday.

Carroll has maintained a public silence since her return. On Sunday, the newspaper released the family statement, which was scheduled to be published as a letter to the editor on Monday.

“We wish to express our gratitude to the many people and organizations whose contributions we were aware of, and acknowledge those that cannot be named, for their own safety, and due to the continuing nature of their important work,” they wrote.

Among others, the family thanked “security consultants” who worked with The Monitor in Iraq; the Kingdom of Jordan; Jassim Boodai, chairman of the Alrai TV station in Kuwait; Iraqi Sheikh Sattam Al Gaood; the U.S. military; and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and his embassy staff in Baghdad.

Monitor officials maintain that they don’t know why Carroll was released, but have assigned reporters to that story.

The kidnappers, a formerly unknown group that called themselves the Revenge Brigade, had publicly demanded the release of all women detainees in Iraq, saying Carroll would be killed otherwise.

Carroll, a Michigan native and 1999 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, remains in Boston with her family, newspaper spokeswoman Ellen Tuttle said Sunday. She said Carroll is unlikely to speak to the media for at least another week.

Carroll is not back to work but “there is regular contact with the newsroom,” Tuttle said.

Last week, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press that a Baghdad-based hostage response team made up of the FBI and the State and Defense departments worked on the case. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of kidnapping cases.

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