U.S. Hostage In Tearful Plea

al-jazeera, jill carroll, iraq
Al-Jazeera aired a new videotape Monday of kidnapped U.S. journalist Jill Carroll, showing her wearing an Islamic veil and weeping as she purportedly appealed for the release of female Iraqi prisoners.

The video is dated Saturday, two days after the U.S. military released five Iraqi women detainees. U.S. officials said the release had nothing to do with the kidnappers' demands.

Carroll's face is visible in the footage, encircled by a conservative Islamic veil that covers her hair, neck and shoulders. She is sobbing as she speaks to the camera, sitting in front of a yellow and black tapestry.

If the date is correct, it was the first sighting of Carroll since a Jan. 20 deadline her captors had originally set in an earlier video, threatening to kill her if women prisoners were not release. The deadline passed with no word on her fate amid widespread calls from Iraqi and Islamic leaders for her to be freed.

The U.S. military released five Iraqi women on Thursday and were believed to be holding several more. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports Carroll's plea in the video asks not only for the women in U.S. custody, but also those held by Iraq's interior ministry. It is believed seven women are left in U.S. custody but is unclear how many women were held by Iraqi authorities.

CBS Radio News reports that Carroll's father had planned to tape a statement today to be aired on Al Jazeera in which he was going to make another plea for his daughter's release, but because of the tape of Carroll which just aired, he will no longer tape a statement.

A hostage specialist team, including FBI agents, U.S. diplomats and the American military, has been working with Iraqi authorities to chase down leads and contact Iraqi political figures who may have connections to the kidnappers.

The al-Jazeera newsreader said Carroll appealed to the U.S. military and the Iraqi Interior Ministry to release all women in their prisons and that this "would help in winning her release."

At one point, Carroll's cracking voice can be heard from behind the newsreader's voice. CBS News reports that all that can be heard is Carroll saying, "…so that they can go home to their families."