Filipino Hostage Video

AP/ABC News – Al-Jazeera Broadcasts Tape of Iraq Hostage

Al-Jazeera television Wednesday broadcast a videotape of armed men holding a Filipino hostage and threatening to kill him if the Philippines did not withdraw its small force from Iraq in three days.

The three armed men who issued the threat stood behind the seated hostage with a banner behind them that read the “Iraqi Islamic Army Khaled bin al-Waleed corps,” a previously unknown group. The name Khaled bin al-Waleed is that of one of the military commanders of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet gave al-Waleed the title “Sword of Islam.” The videotape displayed an Iraqi identity card for the hostage, which gave his nationality as Philippines and his name as Hafidh Amer. The name suggests he is a Muslim.

The Al-Jazeera newscaster said the group had offered to release Amer if the Philippines withdraws its troops from Iraq within 72 hours. Al-Jazeera spokesman Jihad Ballout said the channel received the videotape Wednesday. It did not say how the group kidnapped Amer nor did it give his occupation.

The Philippines has 51 soldiers, police officers and health workers in the multinational force in Iraq. In addition, about 4,100 Filipinos are working at U.S. military bases in Iraq as cooks and maintenance technicians.

VOA News — Al-Jazeera Video Purportedly Shows Filipino Hostage

The Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera has broadcast a video that appears to show three armed men holding a Filipino hostage in Iraq. In the video, the men say they will kill their hostage unless the Philippines withdraws its troops from the country within 72 hours. The Philippines has about 50 troops serving in Iraq. A banner hanging behind the group identified it as the “Khaled Ibn Al-Walid Corps.” Al-Jazeera said the kidnapped Filipino was employed by a Saudi company working with American forces in Iraq.

Herald Sun (Australia) – Filipino taken hostage in Iraq

A FILIPINO abducted in Iraq will be executed unless the Philippines withdraws its troops from the country within 72 hours, a group said on a video broadcast on Al-Jazeera television today. The kidnapped Filipino, employed by a Saudi company working with US troops based in Iraq, was shown cowering on his knees. He was kidnapped by an armed group calling itself the “Khaled Ibn al-Walid Brigade” linked to the “Islamic Army in Iraq”, Al-Jazeera said.

The pan-Arab television station broadcast footage of a man sitting on his knees, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, surrounded by three masked men touting guns and reading their threat from a statement.

The group said it had killed an Iraqi security guard who was with the Filipino.
An identity card bearing the picture of an Iraqi and a company card on which was written: Al-Ghadeer Security Service Company. Hafidh H. Amer, Security Officer, was also shown by Al-Jazeera.

Of course, since this group isn’t calling itself “al Qaeda,” it’s not important, since, as we all know, only “al Qaeda” is our enemy. The headlines all miss the fact that they already murdered one man as part of this kidnapping. Indeed, only one of the stories above mentions Hafidh H. Amer at all. The good news is that none of the headlines I’ve seen at GoogleNews are using the term “militant” to describe the group, which is progress indeed.

Ironically, this news comes mere minutes after word that Cpl. Hassoun’s family reports that they’ve spoken with him on the telephone and that he’s safe, having been released by the terrorists who had threatened to behead him and, indeed, had been reported as having done so over the weekend. CNN’s site isn’t responding at the moment, but CBS affiliate KUTV reports CNN: Hassoun Contacts Family by Phone

A report from CNN says that marine Cpl. Wasset Ali Hassoun has contacted his family. The military has yet to confirm the whereabouts or the condition of the Utah marine who was apparently held hostage in Iraq.

CNN reports that he called his family and told them he was free and safe. CNN reports that the call came from Lebanon where Hassoun̢۪s father and brother live.

Jeff Quinton a roundup of that story.

UPDATE (7/9): Amanda Doerty has a photo of the hostage, extracted from the video. The hostage’s name has apparently still not been released.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.