Richard Engel And His Team Thought They Would Die In Syria

By Alex Weprin Comment

In their interview with “Rock Center” last night, NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, along with his production team, said that they believed they would die in Syria.

Engel, cameraman John Kooistra , producers Ghazi Balkiz, Aziz Akyavas and Ammar Cheikh Omar arrived in the U.S. late yesterday, and Savannah Guthrie conducted the interview not long after they landed.

Guthrie asked them to raise their hands if they thought that “this is it,” that they would die in Syria. Every man raised their hand.

“There was no doubt that these were violent people and that they could have executed us at any stage,” Engel said.


There are a number of terrifying and fascinating details in the interview, including the fact that Engel pretended not to be able to speak or understand Arabic, with both the hostage takers and the rebels that rescued them.