Matthew Schrier, 35, was a prisoner in Syria of jihadi fighters opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. Held in bases and prisons run by two Islamist rebel groups, he said, he was robbed, beaten and accused of being an American spy. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/23/world/middleeast/american-tells-of-odyssey-as-prisoner-of-syrian-rebels.html?hpw Mr. Schrier was new to war photography (and was never a professional photographer).
Born in Syosset, N.Y., he had attended film school at Hofstra, but found no job in his field and opted to work for nearly a decade in the health care industry, negotiating rates and claims.
Mr. Schrier’s captors accused him and his cellmate of working for the C.I.A., and coerced them into making confessions, once while wearing orange jumpsuits and being videotaped.
Someone handed Mr. Schrier his iPhone and asked him for its security code, so they could read his call log, contacts, text messages and e-mail archives.
“We have information that there are C.I.A. agents in the area,” his captors said.
Mr. Schrier said he risked an argument. “My socks don’t match and you think I’m in the C.I.A.?” he said.
Mr. Schrier said his captors drained one of his bank accounts. That they shopped in his name on eBay. That they sent messages from his e-mail account to his mother and his best friend assuring them he was fine, that he had extended his trip to do more work.
http://mbspovphotography.com/ (I call bullshit! A decade after school he just started this photo website. Chock-full of spy photos of Occupy supporters.)
BUT WAIT: According to our information, the regime’s opponents, supervised by Jordanian, Israeli and American commandos (have been) moving towards Damascus since mid-August.
According to information obtained by Le Figaro, the first trained in guerrilla warfare by the Americans in Jordan, Syrian (rebel) troops reportedly entered into action since mid-August in southern Syria, in the region of Deraa. A first group of 300 men, probably supported by Israeli and Jordanian commandos, as well as men of the CIA, had crossed the border on August 17. A second would have joined (on) the 19. According to military sources, the Americans, who do not want to put troops on the Syrian soil or arming rebels in part controlled by radical Islamists form quietly for several months in a training camp set up at the border Jordanian- Syrian fighters ASL, the Free Syrian Army, handpicked.