They were taken into custody by alert Iranian border guards and stayed in Iran until recently, when Ms. Shourd was released.
Their other comrade, Shon Meckfessel, conveniently got 'sick' right before their little jaunt onto the world stage and stayed behind in their hotel room.
Shourd then went on a nationwide 'pity party tour,' telling some rather interesting, uh, tales about her version of the story. She claimed here band of hikers were not spies, they just wanted to see the Ahmed Awa waterfall, near the Iraq/Iranain border and hike around the area.
Her words in a "Democracy Now" Interview:
And the next morning, we asked a tea seller, who I’ve seen on some other interviews. What he said is not true. He said that he questioned us and that we said we were going to Iran, which we of course didn’t say, because we had no idea we were even near Iran. I think I just miscalculated in my mind how close it was, didn’t have a good map and was going on what people said. And we hiked for two to three hours, and that’s when we came upon some soldiers, you know, out in the middle of nowhere. There was absolutely no sign of a border, no indication, no fence or flag or building, nothing of any kind.Jesus H. Christ, there's so much BS in this 9/28/2010 DN interview I don't know where to start, so I'll just jump in here. It was owner of the hotel they were staying at that warned them to NOT go near the border, not some tea seller.
The soldiers—we assumed they were Iraqi soldiers, because we had no indication, no idea, that we were near Iran. And so, we thought, "OK, they’re just going to ask us a few questions." And, you know, they have guns, so we can’t just refuse them and walk away. They were quite a bit—quite a ways in the distance when we saw them, and they gestured for us to come closer. And we came closer, and they told us that we—they were Iranian and forced us to get into a car with them.
AMY GOODMAN: Were you able to make a phone call?
SARAH SHOURD: We did, yeah. We begged and pleaded with them and told them that our friend, Shon Meckfessel, was waiting for us. He was on the way to the waterfall. And yeah, thank God they allowed us to make a phone call. And we called Shon, and he actually hadn’t left Sulaymaniyah yet, so he alerted the authorities in Baghdad.
And was Shon sick and staying at the hotel, as you've claimed or was he heading out to join your group, as you've also claimed?
SULAIMANIYA, Iraq, Aug 2.- Three U.S. hikers arrested for straying into Iran were warned to stay away from the Ahmed Awa region on the Iraq-Iran border, a hotel owner said.Out of curiosity Sarah, did your cell phones have GPS technology which could of let you known to within a few meters or so where you were at?
"I told them, 'Don't go there because it is unsafe for you because you're American and Ahmed Awa is very close to the Iranian border,'" said Mudhafer Mohammed, owner of the Nirwan Hotel in Sulaimaniya in Iraq's Kurdistan region.
A fourth hiker, Shon Meckfessel, stayed behind at the hotel because he felt sick, Mohammed told CNN. Friday afternoon, the three called their friend at the hotel, saying they were surrounded by Iranian soldiers.
To make Abe Fartman and his goose-stepping comrades at the ADL-ARAB DEFAMATION LEAGUE--happy, I'll ask a question which some will scream is anti-Semitic: Just what in the hell were you guys thinking? Three Jews, hiking in war torn Iraq, near the Iranian border. The same Iran that US Neocons and Israeli Zionists had been threatening to bomb the hell out of for the last several years.
The same Iran that the USA and Israel have been sending in spies, saboteurs, Special Forces and Blackwater type mercs across the border to set off explosions, kill people, cause mayhem and try to intimidate the Iranians to help foster a Zionist-backed revolution.
And this is the location you choose, one of the more dangerous regions in the world to 'hike?'
Good grief, I realize you Chosen Ones think Americans have the IQ of an ashtray, but not all of us are that fucking stupid, especially when it comes to SHOAH™ Business.
About that Holocaust™ thing, that one or more of you have relatives that are now deceased Holocaust™ survivors, while those fairy tales play well here in the brain dead West ( there are more Holocaust™ museums, centers, etc. in the USA than anywhere else in the world) those yarns don't sell well in those parts of the world were people can still read, research and think for themselves.
The 'Dumbassocray Now' interview was so filled with distortions that you have lost all credibility. Hell, considering how healthy you looked and how at ease you were when talking, I'm not even sure you spent all that time in a 5' x 10' solitary confinement cell.
Plus, in many interviews, Amy GOODMAN is usually pretty quick to catch someone being evasive or deceptive, but not in your case. Why didn't she ask you if your cell phone(s) were GPS equipped or you 'hikers' were carrying a portable GPS unit to determine the border location, which you stated was "...unmarked and indistinguishable."
You seem to be an intelligent person, but you expect the public to believe that college educated Jews would go to an 'unmarked and indistinguishable' border without some type of GPS technology, in a war zone, filled with Arabs and Persians?
But if you did spend anytime in an Iranian prison, thank your G-d that you weren't an Iraqi woman, who was kidnapped off a Baghdad street by MOSSAD/Blackwater thugs, because they probably would've took you to a remote location, and repeatedly gang raped you until you had blood flowing out of every orifice, then put a bullet into your brain right before tossing your lifeless body into the Tigris.
Or hazard a guess if you were a Palestinian, trying to tend to his farm in Gaza and IDF Storm Troopers decided it would be a good afternoon for target practice. Do you think you'd still be alive or be worm food?
But I guess that didn't happen to you in Iran, did it?
Uhh, since your college education is obviously lacking, maybe someone should show you the wonders of something called the 'Internet,' which is a vast, online library of news sources. Have someone show you how to 'browse' the 'Net, and in no time at all, you'll find all sorts of August 2009 stories from around the world about your incredulous activity, like this one, that said "The border is unmarked, but news sources say the hikers were repeatedly warned to stay away from the area.Iranian border guards also warned the Americans not to get near the border, according to a TV station there."
And yet another story:
A Kurdish official identified the three as US backpackers and said they were arrested after having been warned on the Iraqi side not to hike in the mountains because of the proximity of the border with Iran which is not clearly marked. The three Americans stayed in a youth hostel in the mountainous region and "the (Kurdish) tourist police in the area asked them not to climb the mountains because the Iranian border was very close," said Beshro Ahmed, media adviser for general security in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.And yet another story from that area, with locals commenting that the area the hikers got lost was remote an one that even the locals rarely visit, since it's littered with landmines left over from the Iran-Iraq war days.
There's also danger from smugglers and that shortly after the waterfall the mountain becomes steep and there are no roads or water sources, local people say.
Locals living there questioned why the Americans ventured alone to a remote area that was known to be near the border, since there are NO roads and NO sources of water.
No water sources? Then why did the 'Three Stooges' leave most of their gear, including notebooks, back at the Ahmed Awa campground? Wouldn't it be prudent to bring along some extra water and camping gear, just in case you did actually did get 'lost?'
Or did you leave your gear at the campground because your plans were to be captured by Iranian authorities, since the area where you claimed to have inadvertently wandered into is a THREE HOUR hike away from the Ahmed Awa waterfall.
Even the New York Times carried a August 2 story that you had been WARNED by Iranian border guards to "not to get near the border," yet you and your crew went ahead and crossed into Iran anyway?
Three of you 'hiker's graduated from the University of California at Berkley; the fourth has a University of Washington PhD. Which means you have some smarts, so why didn't you do some checking back then and look into the area you were going to hike, because if you had, you'd found this June 2009 warning from the US State Department:
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers inherent in travel to Iraq and recommends against all but essential travel in country given the fluid security situation. Numerous insurgent groups remain active throughout Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)-led military operations continue, and attacks persist against the ISF and U.S. forces in many areas of the country. Turkish government forces have carried out operations against elements of the Kongra-Gel terrorist group (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Worker's Party or PKK) located along Iraq's northern border. This Travel Warning warns U.S. citizens of the current security situation and reiterates the dangers of the use of civilian aircraft and of road travel within Iraq. This replaces the Travel Warning of June 13, 2008, to provide an update on security incidents and additional concerns about travel within Iraq.See Sarah, astute people know that the Western media is owned by Zionists who project lies non-stop to protect and enhance the world's vies of the region's #1 Terror State, Apartheid Israel. But thanks to that Internet thing I told you about, we can get around the blinders and find REAL news that hasn't been saturated with lies, propaganda, distortions and outright BS that is injected into the American mind 24/7.
So take your 'pity party' elsewhere.
Rabbi Weiss, of the Ultra Orthodox Jewish group called Neturei Karta, who is based just north of New York City, explains why his worldwide organization believes that Zionism is the exact opposite of Judaism and why they pray for the peaceful dismantling of the Zionist state of Israel.