Foreign hostages in Iraq


Foreign hostages in Iraq
Table of contents

Key: (killed-freed-unknown)

Coalition

Beginning in April 2004, members of the Iraqi insurgency began taking foreign civilian hostages in Iraq. Since then, they have kidnapped more than 200 foreigners and thousands of Iraqis; among them, dozens of foreign hostages have been killed. Nepal (with 12) and the United States (with 11) rank the highest of hostages killed in Iraq. China ranks the highest (with 15) of hostages freed in Iraq followed by Pakistan (with 13) and Egypt (with 10).

There are many motives behind these kidnappings. They include:

  • influencing foreign governments with troops in Iraq
  • influencing foreign companies with workers in Iraq
  • ransom money
  • discouraging travel to Iraq

In 2004, executions of captives were often filmed, and many were beheaded. However, the number of the recorded killings decreased significantly. Many hostages remain missing with no clue as to their whereabouts. The United States Department of State Hostage Working Group was organized by the U.S. Embassy, Baghdad, in the summer of 2004 to monitor foreign hostages in Iraq.

The following is a list of known civilian foreign hostages in Iraq.

Coalition

Australia

Released/Rescued

  • John Martinkus, a journalist for SBS Television, was kidnapped on October 16, 2004. He was released on October 18, 2004, after his captors used Google to verify his status as a journalist.[1][2]
  • Douglas Wood, construction engineer was kidnapped along with his driver and translator on April 30, 2005. The driver and translator were later killed. Wood was rescued on June 15, 2005 in a raid carried out by the Iraqi Army.[3][4]

Bulgaria

Killed

  • Georgi Lazov and Ivailo Kepov, two truck drivers, were seized on June 29, 2004, near Mosul. Lazov's beheaded body was found on July 14, 2004; Kepov's on July 22, 2004.[5]

Canada

Killed

  • Zaid Meerwali, who held dual Canadian-Iraqi citizenship, was seized August 2, 2005, and $250,000 in ransom was demanded. Officials in Canada said, that on August 15, 2005, he had been shot in the head while the family was preparing the ransom money.[6]

Czech Republic

Released

  • Reporter Michal Kubal and cameraman Petr Klíma, of Czech television and Vít Pohanka from Czech Radio were kidnapped on April 11, 2004. They were freed April 16, 2004.[7]

Denmark

Killed

  • Henrik Frandsen was abducted on April 11, 2004, while working on a sewage project, and found dead the next day.[8]

Italy

Killed

  • Fabrizio Quattrocchi, a security guard captured with three others, was reported killed in a video released on April 14, 2004.
  • Enzo Baldoni, a reporter taken hostage in August and shown being killed in a video released on August 26, 2004. His Iraqi driver-translator was killed during the abduction.
  • Salvatore Santoro, a photojournalist, reported kidnapped and killed on December 16, 2004.
  • Iyad Anwar Wali, an Italian-Iraqi businessman, was reported killed on October 2, 2004.

Released

  • Umberto Cupertino, Maurizio Agliana and Salvatore Stefio were captured with security guard Fabrizio Quattrocchi on April 29, 2004. The three were freed June 8, 2004.[9]
  • Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, aid workers for a Bridge to Baghdad, were kidnapped along with two Iraqis on September 7, 2004. They were freed on September 28, 2004. Italy allegedly paid $5 million dollars in ransom for their release.[10]
  • Giuliana Sgrena, a reporter for Il Manifesto, was kidnapped on February 4, 2005. Her driver and translator managed to escape. When she was released on March 4, 2005, her car was shot at by US troops, and Italian agent Nicola Calipari was killed. Italy allegedly paid $6 million dollars in ransom for her release.

Japan

Killed

  • Shosei Koda, a tourist, was confirmed beheaded on October 30, 2004. He had been kidnapped on October 26, 2004.
  • Akihiko Saito, a security contractor, was kidnapped after a convoy attack and reported killed on May 28, 2005.

Released

  • Soichiro Koriyama, Noriaki Imai, and Nahoko Takato, Japanese citizens were kidnapped on April 8, 2004, but released on April 15, 2004.[11]

Macedonia

Killed

  • Dalibor Lazarevski, Dragan Marković, and Zoran Naskovski, were kidnapped August 21, 2004, near Baghdad. They worked for Soufan Engineering, which caters to the needs of the US military and its private contractors. On October 22, 2004, the Macedonian government confirmed the three had been killed.[12]

Released

  • Faruk Ademi and Rasim Ramadani, two contractors working for a cleaning company at Basra International Airport were abducted on February 16, 2006. They were released on February 20, 2006.[13]

Philippines

Released

  • Angelo de la Cruz, a truck driver, was taken hostage on July 7, 2004. De la Cruz was released after the Philippines withdrew their 51 troops in the country on July 20, 2004. His Iraqi security guard was killed during the abduction.[14]
  • Roberto Tarongoy, kidnapped on November 1, 2004. He was released eight months later, on June 22, 2005 after a ransom was paid.[15]

Poland

Released

  • Jerzy Kos, a contractor kidnapped on June 1, 2004, was freed in an operation on June 8, 2004.[9]
  • Teresa Borcz Khalifa, a Polish aid worker, was kidnapped on October 28, 2004. She was freed on November 20, 2004.

Romania

Released

  • Marie Jeanne Ion, Sorin Dumitru Miscoci, and Ovidiu Ohanesian, journalists, were kidnapped on March 28, 2005 in Baghdad. Their Iraqi-American translator, Mohammad Munaf, also went missing with them. They were released on May 22, 2005. Munaf was accused by the Romanian government of organizing the kidnapping and was arrested.[7][16]

South Korea

Killed

  • Kim Sun-il, a translator, was kidnapped on May 30, 2004. He was beheaded in a video released June 22, 2004.

Ukraine

Released

  • Five energy workers from Interenergoservis were kidnapped on April 12, 2004, along with 3 Russians and a man immediately released, all were released the next day with the insurgents apologizing, noting that they did not realise they were Russian and Ukrainian.[17]

United Kingdom

Killed

  • Kenneth John Bigley, a civil engineer, who was kidnapped September 16, 2004. The two Americans kidnapped with him were beheaded and Bigley was beheaded around October 7.
  • Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell, Alec Maclachlan and Alan McMenemy, four security contractors kidnapped with Peter Moore, a computer consultant, on May 29, 2007. Their captors were Shia militiamen who demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and release of Iraqi prisoners in exchange for the hostages's release. Jason, Peter and Alan appeared in videos released in November 2007, February 2008 and July 2008. The captors claimed that Swindlehurst killed himself on May 25, 2008. However, that turned out to be a lie. The bodies of Swindlehurst and Creswell were recovered on June 19, 2009. Both of them had been shot dead. On July 29, 2009, it was revealed that Maclachlan and McMenemy had also been killed. The body of Maclachlan was recovered on September 1, 2009. He had been shot dead. McMenemy's body has not been recovered.[18][19][20]

Released

  • Gary Teeley, a laundry contractor at an American base outside Nasiriyah, was kidnapped on April 5, 2004. He was freed by his kidnappers on April 11, 2004.[21]
  • James Brandon, a freelance journalist for The Sunday Telegraph, was kidnapped after 30 masked gunmen stormed into his hotel in Basra on August 12, 2004. He was freed on August 13, 2004, by his captors.[7]
  • Phillip Sands, a freelancer reporter, was abducted on December 26, 2005, along with his interpreter and driver. His abductors were gunmen who planned on using him to get Britain to pull all troops out of Iraq and release all Iraqi prisoners. Phillip was filmed pleading for his life. However, the tape was never sent to Al Jazeera. On December 31, 2005, Phillip and his two colleagues were rescued by U.S. troops who revealed that no one knew they were missing.[7]
  • Norman Frank Kember, an aid worker for Christian Peacemaker Teams, was kidnapped along with two Canadians and an American on November 27, 2005. He was freed in a Coalition raid March 23, 2006. See 2005-2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis.
  • Richard Butler, a journalist working for CBS News, was kidnapped in Basra on February 10, 2008, with his Iraqi interpreter Aqeel Khadhir. The translator was freed on February 13, 2008. Butler was rescued on April 14, 2008 by Iraqi forces.[22][23]
  • Peter Moore, a computer consultant, and his four security guards were kidnapped from the Iraqi Finance ministry on May 29, 2007.[24] Peter and two of his security guards appeared in videos released in November 2007, February 2008 and July 2008. Their captors were Shia militiamen who demanded the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and the release of Iraqi prisoners in exchange for the hostages's release. Their captors claimed that Swindlehurst killed himself on May 25, 2008. However that turned out to be a lie. The bodies of Swindlehurst and Creswell were recovered on June 19, 2009. Both of them were shot dead. On July 29, 2009, it was revealed that Maclachlan and McMenemy were also killed. The body of Maclachlan was recovered on September 1, 2009. He was also shot dead. McMenemy's body has not been recovered.[18][19][20] Moore was released on December 30, 2009 in exchange for the release of Qais Khazali. He was the longest held foreign hostage in Iraq.[25] In December 2009 evidence uncovered during an investigation by the Guardian newspaper newspaper and Guardian Films linked the Quds force to the kidnappings of Moore, Swindlehurst, Maclachlan, Cresswell and McMenemy.[24]

United States

Killed

  • Nicholas Evan Berg, a businessman went missing on April 9, 2004. His widely-publicized beheading was shown in a video May 11, 2004. His body had been found the day before. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi personally beheaded Berg.
  • Eugene Olin "Jack" Armstrong,[26] a contractor for the construction firm Gulf Supplies Commercial Services of the United Arab Emirates,[27] was kidnapped on September 16, 2004. He was beheaded[28] on 20 September 2004.[29] Abu Musab al-Zarqawi personally beheaded Armstrong.[30][31] The following day, the group beheaded fellow American Jack Hensley, and threatened to kill their third hostage, Briton Kenneth Bigley, unless the United States met their demands to free all women prisoners in Iraqi jails.[27] Bigley was beheaded in October 2004.[28]
  • Jack Hensley, a contractor, was kidnapped with Owen Eugene Armstrong and Kenneth Bigley. He was beheaded September 21, 2004.
  • Ronald Alan Schulz, a security consultant, was reported kidnapped on December 6, 2005. On December 19, 2005, the Islamic Army released a video showing Schulz's killing in which he is shot in the head after the U.S. refused to release all Iraqi prisoners. His remains were found in September 2008 and confirmed to be Schulz's the next month.[32]
  • Thomas William Fox, an aid worker working for Christian Peacemaker Teams, was reported kidnapped on November 27, 2005, along with two Canadians and a Briton. His body was found in a rubbish heap on March 10, 2006. See 2005-2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis.
  • John Roy Young, Joshua Mark "Josh" Munns, Paul Christopher Johnson-Reuben and Jonathon Michael "Jon" Cote, four security contractors, were kidnapped with an Austrian named Bert Nussbaumer on November 16, 2006. They appeared in two hostage videos released in December 2006 and January 2007. Their kidnappers demanded $150,000 dollars, the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and the release of all Iraqi prisoners in exchange for the hostages's release. Four fingers were sent to U.S. authorities in February 2008. The fingers belonged to Munns, Reuben, Cote and Nussbaumer. The bodies of Young, Nussbaumer, Munns and Reuben were recovered in March 2008. Cote's body was recovered in April 2008.[33][34]
  • Ronald J. Withrow, a contractor, was kidnapped along with his translator and driver on January 5, 2007. The translator and driver were found dead the next day. One of Withrow's fingers was sent to U.S. authorities in February 2008. His body was recovered in March 2008.[35]
  • Steven Charles Vincent, a journalist, was kidnapped along with his Iraqi translator, Nouriya Itais Wadi, in Basra on August 2, 2005. They were bound, gagged, taken to an undisclosed location where for five hours they were beaten and interrogated, then taken to the outskirts of town and shot. They were found by British and Iraqi policemen but Vincent was dead, shot in the back at close range. Wadi survived despite having been shot three times.[7]

Released/Escaped

  • Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for the Boston-based Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped in West Baghdad on the January 7, 2006, by unknown gunmen. Her translator was killed during the abduction. Her driver escaped. Her kidnappers demanded the release of all female Iraqi prisoners. She was shown in four videos during her captivity. She was released on March 30, 2006.
  • Micah Garen, a freelance reporter, was kidnapped along with his Iraqi translator, Amir Doushi, on August 13, 2004, near Nasiriyah. They were freed on August 22, 2004.[7]
  • Roy Hallums, an employee of a Saudi trading company, was seized along with Roberto Tarangoy, Inus Dewari and three Iraqi security guards on November 1, 2004, in Baghdad. The three Iraqi security guards were released several days later. Dewari was released on November 10, 2004. Hallums was shown in a video aired on January 25, 2005. Tarongoy was released on June 22, 2005. On September 7, 2005, Hallums was freed in an operation by coalition troops.
  • Thomas Hamill, a truck driver, was seized in a deadly convoy attack on April 9, 2004 (see 2004 Iraq KBR Convoy Ambush). He was later shown in a video, but escaped on May 1, 2004.[36]
  • Issa T. Salomi, a civilian contractor, was kidnapped by a Shiite militia group on January 23, 2010, and shown in a video in February 2010. His kidnappers demanded the release of Iraqi prisoners, the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq, the prosecution of security contractors employed by Blackwater Worldwide and compensation to Iraqi families. He was released on March 25, 2010 in exchange for the release of four Iraqi prisoners. [3][4][37]
  • Paul Taggart, a freelance photographer, was kidnapped on October 10, 2004. He was released on October 12, 2004.[7]

Unknown

  • Kirk von Ackermann, disappeared on October 9, 2003 after leaving a meeting at FOB Pacesetter. His vehicle was found abandoned later that same day. He is presumed dead.
  • Timothy Bell, a contractor for Halliburton, went missing on April 9, 2004. He was never shown in a hostage video and is presumed dead.
  • Aban Elias, an Iraqi-American engineer from Denver, was shown being held hostage in a video on May 3, 2004. He has not been seen or heard from since.
  • Radim Sadeq Mohammed Sadeq, also called "Dean Sadek", a businessman kidnapped on November 2, 2004, in Baghdad. He was shown in a video that month and in another video dated Christmas Eve but released in late January on NBC. He has not been seen or heard from since. His kidnappers demanded the release of Iraqi prisoners.
  • Jeffrey Ake, a contractor, was kidnapped on April 11, 2005, and shown in a videotape two days later. He has not been seen or heard from since. His kidnappers contacted his wife on the day he was kidnapped and demanded $1 million dollars in exchange for his release. After three weeks of negotiations, the kidnappers cut off all communication.[38]

Non-coalition

Algeria

Killed

  • Ali Belaroussi, Algerian Chargé d'affaires, and Azzedin Belkadi, Algerian diplomatic attache, were kidnapped on July 21, 2005 in Baghdad. The Algerian government, on July 27, 2005, said they had been killed.[39][40]

Austria

Killed

  • Bert Nussbaumer, a contractor, was kidnapped along with four Americans on November 16, 2006. They appeared in two hostage videos released in December 2006 and January 2007. Their kidnappers demanded $150,000, the withdrawal of America troops from Iraq and the release of all Iraqi prisoners in exchange for the hostages' release. One of Nussbaumer's fingers was sent to U.S. authorities in February 2008. Three of the Americans and Nussbaumer were found dead in March 2008. The other American was found dead in April 2008.[33]

Bangladesh

Released

  • Abul Kashem, a truck driver, was kidnapped on October 28, 2004, as he ferried supplies to Kuwait. He was freed on December 10, 2004.[41]

Brazil

Killed

  • João José Vasconcelos, an engineer, was kidnapped on January 19, 2005, in an ambush on the Baghdad Airport road. His body was found more than two years after his kidnapping. It is believed that he died from injuries sustained in the abduction shortly after arriving at the house where his captors planned to hold him.[42]

Released/Escaped

  • Fadi Ihsan Fadel, a Syrian-Canadian employed by the International Rescue Committee, was taken hostage in Najaf on April 8, 2004 but released on April 16, 2004.
  • Naji al-Kuwaiti, was taken hostage on April 28, 2004, and released on May 4, 2004.
  • Scott Taylor, was a journalist abducted by Ansar al-Islam in Tal Afar on September 9, 2004. He was released five days later.
  • James Loney and Harmeet Singh Sooden, aid workers with Christian Peacemaker Teams, were kidnapped in Baghdad on November 27, 2005, along with an American and Briton. They were freed in a coalition raid on March 23, 2006. See 2005-2006 Christian Peacemaker hostage crisis.
  • Fairuz Yamulky was abducted on September 6, 2004. Her driver and another employee were not taken. Yamulky managed to escape with the help of one of her captors sixteen days later.[43]

Unknown

  • Rifat Mohammed Rifat, an Iraqi-born prison worker, he was taken hostage on April 8, 2004. He is still missing.

The People's Republic of China

Released

  • Seven workers - Xue Yougui, Lin Jinping, Li Guiwu, Li Guiping, Wei Weilong, Chen Xiaojin, and Lin Kongming - were abducted on April 11, 2004, but were released on April 13, 2004.[44]
  • Eight unemployed construction workers were kidnapped by al-Numan Brigades on January 18, 2005, as they tried to leave the country. They were released four days later. The group included three teenagers.[45][46]

Cyprus

Released

  • Garabet Jean Jekerjian, a man with dual Lebanese-Cypriot citizenship, was abducted in August 2005. He was released on December 31, 2005, in exchange for $200,000 ransom.[47][48]

Egypt

Killed

  • Mohammed Mutawalli, a purported "Egypt spy", was beheaded in a video on August 10, 2004.[49]
  • Nasser Juma, a contractor's body was found on September 5, 2004.
  • Ihab al-Sherif, Egyptian envoy to Baghdad, captured on July 3, 2005, and reported killed on July 7, 2005.

Released

  • Victor Tawfiq Gerges, a truck driver, was kidnapped was Turk Bulent Yanik on June 1, 2004. He was released on June 18.[50]
  • Alsayeid Mohammed Alsayeid Algarabawi, a truck driver, was kidnapped on July 6. He was released on July 19.[51]
  • Mohammed Ali Sanad, a truck driver, was seized with three Indians and three Kenyans on July 22, 2004. He was released on September 1, 2004.[52]
  • Mohamed Mamdouh Qutb, a diplomat, was seized in Baghdad on July 23, 2004. He was freed on July 26, 2004.[53]
  • At least two workers for Orascom, a mobile phone company, were kidnapped on September 24, 2004, but freed on September 28, 2004.[54]
  • Four Egyptians working for Orascom were kidnapped on February 6, 2005. They were freed the next day by US forces.[55]
  • Nabil Tawfiq Sulieman and Matwali Mohammed Qassem, Egyptian engineers for the firm Unitrak, were abducted on a road west of Baghdad, a video on an Islamic website said on March 19, 2005. They were released a day later.[56]

Unknown

  • Samuel Edward, an engineer working for Iraqna Mobile Company, was kidnapped on September 26, 2005, in Baghdad. His Iraqi driver was left unharmed.[57]

France

Released

  • Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot, two reporters, were kidnapped along with their Syrian driver on August 21, 2004. The driver was rescued on November 12. The two journalists were released on December 21. France allegedly paid $15 million dollars in ransom for their release.
  • Florence Aubenas, a reporter for the daily Libération. She disappeared January 5, 2005 but was released with her Iraqi translator, Hussein Hanoun al-Saadi, on June 11. France allegedly paid $10 million dollars in ransom for their release.
  • Bernard Planche, a water engineer, was kidnapped in Mansour on December 5, 2005. He was freed on January 7, 2006, when his captors fled the house where they were holding him during a military operation.[58]

Germany

Released

  • Susanne Osthoff, an archaeologist, was kidnapped along with her Iraqi driver on November 25, 2005, according to the German Foreign Ministry. They were released on December 18, 2005, after Germany allegedly paid the kidnappers $5 million dollars ransom. It is also speculated that Germany released Mohammed Ali Hammadi in exchange for Osthoff's release.
  • Thomas Nitzschke and Rene Braeunlich, two engineers, were kidnapped by gunmen near Baiji on January 24, 2006. They appeared in four videos and their kidnappers demanded that Germany end its cooperation with the Iraqi regime, close its mission in Baghdad, ensure that all German businesses cease dealings there, and the release of all Iraqi prisoners held by US forces. On May 2, 2006, the German government announced the two had been freed. Germany allegedly paid $5 million dollars ransom for their release.[59]
  • Hannelore Krause, worked for the Austrian embassy in Baghdad, was kidnapped on February 6, 2007, with her son Sinan in Baghdad. Their kidnappers demanded that Germany withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. She was shown in three videos during her captivity. Hannelore was released on July 11, 2007.[60]

Unknown

  • Sinan Krause, a technician at the Iraqi Foreign Ministry, was kidnapped on February 6, 2007, with his mother Hannelore in Baghdad. Their kidnappers demanded that Germany withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Hannelore was released on July 10, 2007, but Sinan Krause hasn't been seen or heard from since a video was released on September 11, 2007. The video was recorded before Hannelore was released. It showed Sinan saying goodbye to his mother. Their kidnappers issued a final 10 day deadline in the video for Germany to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. They threatened to slit Sinan's throat if their demand was not met. On April 24, 2008, his father appealed to the captors to release his son. The kidnappers ignored the plea.[61]

India

Released

  • Antaryami, Sukhdev Singh, and Tilak Raj were truck drivers seized July 22, 2004, with an Egyptian and three Kenyans. They were released September 1, 2004.[52]

Indonesia

Released

  • Istiqomah binti Misnad and Casingkem binti Aspin, two female workers of an electricity firm were kidnapped along with six Iraqis and two Lebanese in late September 2004. They appeared in a video broadcast on Al-Jazzera on September 30, 2004. The Islamic Army demanded that Indonesia free Abu Bakar Bashir in exchange for the release of the two women. Bashir refused to be released for the two Indonesian women and Indonesia also said it would not free him. The Islamic Army also demanded that the Lebanese government withdraw all nationals working in Iraq for the release of the two Lebanese men. The women were released on October 4, 2004. The six Iraqis were freed later that month after they "repented" working for the Americans and the two Lebanese were freed for ransom in November, 2004.[62]
  • Meutya Hafid, a reporter, and Budiyanto, a cameraman, were kidnapped along with their Jordanian driver on February 15, 2005. They were freed on February 21, 2005.[63]

Iran

Released

  • Fereidoun Jahani, an Iranian diplomat, was kidnapped near Karbala on August 4, 2004. He was released on September 27, 2004.[64]
  • Six Iranian pilgrims and their Iraqi guide were kidnapped on November 28, 2005. Their Iraqi driver was wounded but was not abducted. The Iraqi guide and two of the Iranian pilgrims (all women) were released a day later. The four male hostages were released on February 10, 2006.[5]

Ireland

Killed

  • Margaret Hassan, the director of CARE International, was kidnapped in Baghdad on October 19, 2004. Her driver and unarmed security guard were not taken. She was killed in a video released on November 16, 2004.

Released

  • Rory Carroll, a journalist for the British newspaper The Guardian, was abducted on October 19, 2005, in Baghdad and released the next day.

Israel

Released

  • Nabil Razouk, an Israeli Arab from East Jerusalem working for the US company Research Triangle International, was kidnapped April 8, 2004. He was freed on April 22, 2004, after pleas from his family and Palestinians.[65]

Jordan

Released

  • Ibrahim al-Maharmeh, a businessman, was kidnapped in Baghdad on March 5, 2005. He was released on March 8, 2005, after a ransom was paid.[66]
  • Mahmoud Suleiman Saidat, a driver for the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, was kidnapped on December 20, 2006 . He was later shown on a videotape calling for the release of failed suicide bomber Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi. He was released on February 21, 2007.[67]

Kenya

3 Released

  • Faiz Khamis Salim, Jalal Mohamed Awadh, and Ibrahim Khamis Idd were kidnapped on July 22, 2004, with three Indians and an Egyptian. They were freed September 1, 2004.[52]

Unknown

  • Moses Munyao and George Noballa, engineers from the Iraqna telephone company, were reported kidnapped after an ambush on January 18, 2006. They were never found.[68]

Lebanon

Released

  • Mohammed Hamad, was kidnapped when he was seven years old on October 22, 2004, after being lured into a car by his captors while he was walking home from school. His captors told him his father was hurt in a car accident. They also told his father that they would behead his son unless they were paid $150,000. They eventually lowered their demand to $70,000 and then lowered it again to $1,725. The $1,725 ransom was paid and Mohammed was released on October 29, 2004.[69][70]
  • Marwan Ibrahim al-Qassar and Mohammed Jawdat Hussein were kidnapped by the Islamic Army in Iraq in late on in September 2004 along with six Iraqis and two Indonesian women. They appeared in a video broadcast on Al-Jazeera on September 30, 2004. The Islamic Army demanded that Indonesia free Abu Bakar Bashir in exchange for the release of the two women. Bashir refused to be released for the two Indonesian women and Indonesia also said it would not free him. The Islamic Army also demanded that the Lebanese government withdraw all nationals working in Iraq for the release of the two Lebanese men. The Iraqis and the two Indonesian women were freed in October 2004. Marwan and Mohammed were freed in exchange for ransom in November 2004.[71][72]

Morocco

Killed

  • Driver Abderrahim Boualam and assistant Abdelkrim El Mouhafidim, both workers at the Moroccan embassy in Baghdad, went missing on October 20, 2005 while driving back from Jordan. On October 25, 2005, militants claimed their kidnapping. On November 3, 2005, Al Qaeda in Iraq said in an internet statement that it had decided to kill the two hostages. Ziad Khalaf Raja al-Karbouly later confessed to having arranged the kidnappings. He stated that two Kurds were kidnapped with the Moroccans and were later released.[73]

Nepal

Killed

  • Gyanendra Shrestha, Manoj Kumar Thakur, Rajendra Kumar Shrestha, Jit Bahadur Thapa, Budha Kumar Shas, Ramesh Khadka, Mangal Bahadur Limbu, Sanjaya Kumar Thakur, Lalan Sing Koirala, Chhok Bahadur Thapa, Prakash Adhikari, and Bishnu Hari Thapa, were twelve Nepalese taken hostage on August 23, 2004. A video from August 31, 2004, showed the beheading of one and the shooting in the head of the eleven others.[74]

Released

  • Inus Dewari was kidnapped November 1, 2004, in Baghdad. He was released on November 6, 2004.

Palestinian Territories

Unknown

  • Rami Daas, a 26 year-old Palestinian student, was reported kidnapped by his family on May 9, 2005, by gunmen in the northern city of Mosul. His fate is unknown.[75]

Pakistan

Killed

  • Azad Hussein Khan, an engineer and Sajjad Naeem, a driver, were kidnapped on July 23, 2004, and killed. Their captors demanded their Kuwaiti company leave Iraq. In a video released on July 29, 2004, their bodies were shown. An Iraqi driver who was held with them was released.[76][77]

Released

  • Amjad Hafeez, a driver, was kidnapped on June 25, 2004. He was freed on July 2, 2004.
  • An embassy worker was abducted on April 25, 2005, but released two weeks later.
  • Eleven construction workers were kidnapped from their bus near Nasiriyah on August 13, 2005. They were released August 22, 2005.

Russia

Killed

  • Fyodor Zaitsev, third secretary of the Russian Embassy in Iraq, and embassy employees Rinat Agliulin, Anatoly Smirnov and Oleg Fyodoseyev were abducted after an ambush in Baghdad on June 3, 2006. Another employee, Vitaly Titov, was shot and killed. A group claimed to have executed them on June 21, 2006, and a video released on June 25, 2006, confirmed their deaths. The kidnapper group gave 48 hours to the Putin administration to pull out his troops from Chechnya.

Released

  • Three energy workers, working for the Interenergoservis, were kidnapped April 12, 2004, along with five Ukrainians and a man immediately released, all were released the next day with the insurgents apologizing, noting that they did not realise they were Russian and Ukrainian.[17]
  • Andrei Meshcheryakov and Aleksandr Gordiyenko, employees of Interenergoservis, were kidnapped on May 10, 2004, but released on May 17, 2004.

Somalia

Released

  • Ali Ahmed Mousa, a truck driver, was taken hostage on July 29, 2004, in order to convince his Kuwaiti employer to withdraw from Iraq. He was released several days later.

South Africa

Unknown

  • Andre Durant, Callie Scheepers, Hardus Greeff and Johann Enslin, four contractors, were abducted at a bogus roadblock in Baghdad by unidentified men on December 10, 2006, along with five Iraqis. The Iraqis were released two days later. The kidnappers demanded $8 million ransom. Ten days after the abduction, Andre spoke to his wife briefly in a "proof of life" phone call. There were some talks that these four were still alive in January 2007, but since then there has been no word on their fate.[78]

Sri Lanka

Released

  • Dinesh Dharmendran Rajaratnam, a truck driver, was kidnapped on October 28, 2004, while ferrying supplies to Kuwait. He was released on December 10, 2004.[41]

Sudan

Killed

  • Six Sudanese truck drivers, were kidnapped by Ansar al-Sunnah sometime in April 2005. The six men were shot dead in a video posted on the Internet.[79]

Released

  • Noureddin Zakaria, a translator, was kidnapped on October 30, 2004, in Ramadi. He was released on November 6, 2004.[80]
  • Six Sudanese, including the second secretary at the Sudanese embassy, were abducted in Baghdad on December 23, 2005. They were released on December 31, 2005, after Sudan closed its embassy in Baghdad.[81]
  • Mohammed Haroun Hamad, a truck driver, was kidnapped along with his colleague Maher Ataya sometime in March 2005. The Islamic Army claimed responsibility in a statement and internet video for the abductions on March 9. The group claimed that a Sharia Council would decide their fates. On April 6, 2005, a second video announced that the Sharia Council decided to release Mohammed and Maher after they "repented" working for the Americans.[82]

Sweden

Released

  • Ulf Hjertstrom, an oil broker, was taken hostage on March 25, 2005. He was released on May 30, 2005.[83]

Switzerland

Released

  • Two Swiss nationals, a married couple who worked for a NGO, were kidnapped on April 20, 2004, by an unknown group. They were held hostage for 48 hours and released on April 22, 2004, after relatives of the kidnappers from the Obaida tribe promised to pressure Yemeni authorities. Some reports listed the couple as tourists.[84]

Syria

Released

Turkey

Killed

  • Durmus Kumdereli, a truck driver, was kidnapped on August 14, 2004. He was having dinner with six other truck driver friends in a restaurant a few miles away from Mosul. Kidnapped in that restaurant with his friend Mustafa Köksal by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's men. He was decapitated few days later afterwards by Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad.
  • Dursun Ali Yildirim Tek, a truck driver, was kidnapped on July 23, 2006. Two videos were broadcast on the internet in which his captors demanded the Turkish government end all cooperation with Iraq and that they shut down the company Tek worked for. In the second video, a 72 hour deadline was issued in which Turkey had to give in to the captors' demands or Tek would be executed. He was killed in October after the deadline passed and his body was found near Baghdad's Airport. His body was identified a month and a half later.[85]
  • Murat Yuce, a truck driver, was kidnapped in Iraq along with his colleague Aytullah Gezmen in late July 2004. A video showing Abu Ayyub al-Masri shooting Yuce in the head was posted on a web site on August 2, 2004. Aytullah was released a month later after he "repented" working for the Americans.[86]
  • Maher Kemal, a contractor, was reported beheaded on October 11, 2004.[87]

Released

  • Bulent Yanik, a truck driver, was kidnapped on June 1, 2004 and released on June 18.[50]
  • Abdulkadir Tanrikulu, a businessman, abducted by gunmen from the Bakhan Hotel in Baghdad on January 13, 2005. He was freed on June 29, 2005.[88]
  • Ali Musluoglu, a businessman, Kidnapped in Baghdad on May 19, 2005. He was released on September 20, 2005, in exchange for a $250,000 ransom.[89]
  • Aytullah Gezmen, a truck driver, was kidnapped in Iraq on July 31, 2004, along with his colleague Murat Yuce. Murat was executed on August 16, 2004. Aytullah was released a month later after he "repented" working for the Americans.[86]
  • Hasan Eskimutlu, a technician, was kidnapped on June 14, 2006, along with his translator. His captors sent a video to Aljazeera in which they demanded the Turkish government withdraw its ambassador from Baghdad and that they put pressure on the Iraqi government to free male and female prisoners from U.S and Iraqi prisons. They were freed on August 2, 2006.[90]

United Arab Emirates

Released

  • Naji Rashid al-Nuaimi, the first secretary of the UAE's embassy in Baghdad, was abducted by gunmen on May 16, 2006. His captors demanded that the UAE abandon its presence in Iraq. Nuaimi was freed on May 30, 2006. His Sudanese driver was wounded and later died of his injuries.[91]

See also


References

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  3. ^ Smiles, Sarah (May 29, 2006). "Iraqi family gets no answer to asylum plea". The Age (Melbourne). http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/iraqi-family-gets-no-answer-to-asylum-plea/2006/05/28/1148754871340.html. 
  4. ^ ABC.net.au
  5. ^ Body discovery stokes Iraq hostage tension China Daily, 2004-07-23
  6. ^ CTV.ca
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Iraq: Journalists Abducted 2003-09 - Reports - Committee to Protect Journalists
  8. ^ Body of missing Dane found in Iraq
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  11. ^ Noriaki Imai profile BBC
  12. ^ Macedonian Iraq hostages killed BBC, 22 October 2004.
  13. ^ Macedonian Hostages in Iraq Freed
  14. ^ Embassy confirms Filipino hostage's release ABC News Online.
  15. ^ Iraq hostage free after 7 months CNN.
  16. ^ Munaf's ten year prison sentence is final Romanian Times.
  17. ^ a b Indolink.com
  18. ^ a b Rayment, Sean; McElroy, Damien (June 21, 2009). "British hostages in Iraq named after bodies found Two British men, Jason Creswell and Jason Swindlehurst, have been named by the Foreign Office as "highly likely" to have been killed, after being kidnapped and held hostage in Iraq since 2007". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/5594701/British-hostages-in-Iraq-named-after-bodies-found.html. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
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  21. ^ Violence rages on in Fallujah despite truce
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  66. ^ Insurgent attacks kill 33, wound dozens around Iraq
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  91. ^ Iraqi kidnappers release Emirati diplomat three days after his abduction

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