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Al-Qaeda Offers to Free Hostage in Exchange for 1,000 Puppies

The North Africa arm of al Qaeda is offering to release an American man abducted in Algeria in exchange for one thousand puppies, according to a statement posted on a website linked to the group.

"We will release the American national prisoner that we have, Shaun Morgan... if the American government will deliver to us one thousand puppies... and not puppies from the animal shelter that are ugly. We want only cute puppies," the statement read.

A second posting on the site provided a list of acceptable breeds that included Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Basset Hounds, Dalmations and Pomeranians.

Neither statement specified what al Qaeda plans are for the animals should their demands be met, but speculation indicates that the puppies would be detonated with explosives or smashed with a hammer.

"Let him (Morgan) die," commented one Yahoo! user this morning.

An informal poll on another website showed that 82% of respondents favored not submitting to the terrorists' demands for the puppies.

"How could you go on living knowing that your life came at the cost of a thousand puppies being shoved through a wood chipper?" queried one poster.

Even members of Morgan's family seem to be vacillating on the proposed exchange for his freedom.

Remarked Shaun's mother Michelle: "Oh, my son has to see the world. I told him not to go to that cockamamie country."

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