Warren Rodwell Interview
Chris Brake Show #58
Warren Rodwell was kidnapped for 15 months by an Islamic militant group named Abu Sayyaf and held for ransom, making him the longest held Australian captive outside of wartime. The Abu Sayyaf group demanded $2 million for Warren’s release. Warren gives us an inside look at his kidnappers and what happened to him behind the scenes.
We talk to Warren Rodwell about The Philippines, “love,” the 6 stages of kidnapping, Islamic terrorists, the business of taking hostages, jungle bowel movements, and more.
Warren almost died while in captivity, but listening to Warren’s kidnapping story almost sounds like a stand-up comedy routine. He is a very funny guy, and his humor makes the kidnapping story a treat to listen to.
Warren was kidnapped from outside his home in the Philippines by Abu Sayyaf members dressed as military police officers and a young girl on a phone pretending to need help. They accidentally shot Warren through his hand, handcuffed him, and threw him into a boat.
“These guys had no idea what they were doing.”
One of the boat’s motors exploded about an hour out into sea. Warren actually offered to help the kidnappers paddle the boat for some reason, even with a broken bone in his hand. The rebels wouldn’t let Rodwell help paddle the boat. Warren thinks it’s because the rebels were too proud to accept any help. I’m thinking it might be because they were afraid Rodwell would attack them with the paddle or something. Who knows? Maybe it’s a little of both, or possibly it’s because of some third thing that neither Rodwell nor myself could possibly think of in 100 lifetimes. Whatever the reason, the Abu Sayyaf rebels paddled the boat themselves for six hours until they finally reached land.
Are these guys dangerous? Yes. The Abu Sayyaf has ties to Al-Qaeda and Isis, and has kidnapped hundreds of people since the year 2000. In 2001, Abu Sayyaf beheaded a US hostage named Guillermo Sobero as a “gift” to the Philippine President.
The kidnappers moved Warren around constantly between 28 camps on different tiny remote islands during the 472 days he was in captivity.
The Australian and Philippine governments imposed a media blackout, and a lot of people thought that Warren was dead. The Australian Government refused to pay the ransom, so Warren Rodwell’s family attempted to raise the $2 million random themselves. Warren’s family was able to raise about $100,000 to pay the ransom money (ostensibly labelled “board and lodging”), which was 5% of the original $2 million the kidnappers were demanding. Warren was kidnapped on December 5, 2011 and finally released on March 23, 2013.
Look for the book “472 Days Captive of Abu Sayyaf – The Survival of Australian Warren Rodwell” by Dr. Bob East (Cambridge Scholars Publishing – United Kingdom) to be released soon. Read the forward by Dr. Peter Sales here.
Marty O’ Show
“The Chris Brake Show: Entertaining, funny, intelligent… and good interviews.” – Marty O’Sullivan, the Marty O’ Show
Martin O’Sullivan from the Marty O’ Show gives us a fantastic endorsement. The Marty O’ Show is another great show that’s played on the 405 Media radio station. On the latest episode of the Marty O’ Show, Martin O’Sullivan dedicates a portion of his show to reviewing our show, and he has really nice things to say about us. So we wanted to reciprocate his kindness by dedicating the beginning of this episode to sharing Marty’s thoughts about our show. Thanks to Martin O’Sullivan for giving us a shout out on his show. We are extremely honored!