Friday, June 26, 2009

News Talk Online June 26, 2009: The Terrifying Story Of A Woman Held By Al Qaeda For Ransom In Russia


In January 1992, the unimaginable happened to Yvonne Bornstein, a wife, mother and businesswoman.

While on a business trip to Moscow, she was kidnapped, tortured, and starved for 11 horrifying days. Held for $1.6 million ransom, chances were slim that she would survive. However, an unprecedented collaboration between the FBI and Russian intelligence led to her safe release.

While it was originally thought that Yvonne’s captors were part of the Russian mob, it was only in 2002 that a key player in the rescue put together by the FBI and the MVD (an off-shoot of the former KGB) amazingly linked the kidnappers to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network.

Bornstein’s harrowing and life-altering true story comes vividly to life in New York Times bestselling author David Hagberg’s Burned, a fictional account of her ordeal. The book delves into what she felt during those desperate days and the strength she found within herself to survive.

Bornstein lived through an event that would cause many other women to falter. She now travels the world sharing her intense story and the lessons she has learned — lessons that can speak to anyone who has trouble in their life. She and Hagberg joined me as guests on today's News Talk Online on

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