Hostage Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie Video Released

A video of American hostage Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie has been released.

A Shiite militant group has issued a video of an Iraqi-American soldier who was kidnapped nearly four months ago while visiting his wife in downtown Baghdad, a U.S. television network reported Wednesday.

The U.S. government has offered a $50,000 reward leading to the recovery of Iraqi-born American Army translator Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie, a 41-year-old reserve soldier from Ann Arbor, Mich., who was abducted by gunmen on Oct. 23.

The video was broadcast by CNN and it was unclear when it was made. Al-Taayie’s uncle identified him from the video, the network said. The video did not immediately turn up in an Associated Press search of militant Web sites.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said officials were aware of the video and were analyzing a copy of it to ascertain its authenticity.

Rusty Shackleford has obtained the video and placed it at Google:

Rusty reports,

Right after Altaie was captured by forces allegedly tied to the Mahdi Army, a relative contacted The Jawa Report. I won’t identify her out of respect for what she is going through, but she was depressed that the media had written her relative off and wrote to ask if we really believed he was still alive. I’m very glad that he is.

Altaie was born in Iraq but immigrated to the United States. Even though he was much older than the average U.S. serviceman, he volunteered right after the Iraq war broke out. He felt it was his duty to help the effort and his native language skills were much needed. Not only that, but here was a chance to serve both his adopted country and the country of his birth.

Since the date of the video is unknown, it’s not conclusive proof that he’s still alive. We join Rusty in hoping for the best.

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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.


  1. Triumph says:

    Lets hope he is alive.

    Its tragic that Bush was essentially ordered by Madhi-army puppet, al-Maliki to stop looking for the serviceman in the weeks following his capture.