CBSN

Journalist, 28, Kidnapped In Iraq

Freelance writer Jill Carroll is shown in this Sept. 5, 2005, file photo. Carroll, a freelance journalist currently on assignment for The Christian Science Monitor, was abducted by unknown gunmen in Baghdad Saturday morning, Jan. 7, 2006. Her Iraqi interpreter was killed during the kidnapping
AP
Jill Carroll had just been laid off from a newspaper job and decided it was time to fulfill her dream of going to the Middle East to cover a war. Her proud sister has been keeping track of her travels in a blog.

"All I ever wanted to be was a foreign correspondent," Carroll wrote last year in the American Journalism Review. "It seemed the right time to try to make it happen."

Carroll, a 28-year-old freelancer for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped Saturday in Baghdad, when gunmen ambushed her car and killed her translator. She had been on her way to meet a Sunni Arab official in one of the city's most dangerous neighborhoods.

In the February/March issue of AJR, Carroll wrote that she moved to Jordan in late 2002, six months before the war started, "to learn as much about the region as possible before the fighting began."

"There was bound to be plenty of parachute journalism once the war started, and I didn't want to be a part of that," she wrote.

Carroll was described by her editor as an aggressive reporter but not a reckless one.

"I've never had any indication that she's reckless," said Marshall Ingwerson, managing editor for Boston-based Monitor.

Carroll has had work from Iraq published in the Monitor, AJR, U.S. News & World Report, an Italian news wire and other publications. She has been interviewed often on National Public Radio. Her most recent story was published in Friday's issue of the Monitor, headlined "Violence threatens Iraqi coalition."

"She's a very professional, straight-up, fact-oriented reporter," Ingwerson said.

Unlike most Western reporters, Carroll is able to speak Arabic, "so she can operate pretty well in Iraq," Ingwerson said.

Despite her language skills, Carroll used an Iraqi translator. The translator was killed during the kidnapping, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

Maj. Falah Mohamadawi said the translator told police just before he died that the abduction took place when he and Carroll were heading to meet Adnan al-Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Accordance Front, in the Adel section of the city. The neighborhood is dominated by Sunni Arabs and is considered one of the toughest in Baghdad.

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports that the kidnapping occurred as Carroll and her translator, Alan Ghazi, were leaving the office of the politician she sought to interview Saturday. As three armed men kidnapped Carroll, they shot Ghazi twice in the head.

CBS News has previously interviewed Ghazi, who owned a music store in Baghdad, and had a great affinity for American music. Since, Ghazi decided to give up the shop to pursue a dangerous career translating.

"You are a target as a citizen, you are a target, you will die at any moment," Ghazi said. "There is no security, enough security for ourselves, our families."