New Iraq Hostage Video

Four Americans and one Austrian kidnapped in November appear on a newly released video.

Four Americans and an Austrian abducted in November in southern Iraq spoke briefly and appeared uninjured in a video believed to have been recorded nearly two weeks ago and delivered Wednesday to The Associated Press.

The men — security contractors for the Crescent Security Group based in Kuwait — appeared separately on the edited video, and three of them said they were being treated well. They were kidnapped Nov. 16 when suspected militiamen in Iraqi police uniforms ambushed a convoy of trucks being escorted by Crescent Security on a highway near the southern border city of Safwan.

“My name is John R. Young,” one captive in a blue and white sweat suit said in the video. “I’m 44 years old. I’m from Kansas City, Missouri. The date is 21 December, 2006. I’m well, my friends are well, we’ve been treated well.”

Another man identified himself as Jon Cote of Buffalo, N.Y. Fidgeting and appearing uncomfortable, he said: “I can’t be released until the prisoners from the American jails and the British jails are released.”

The captives were dressed in civilian clothes, and spoke in a flat, impassive tone. Several had their hands folded in their laps.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Lou Fintor said it was aware a second tape of the captives was circulating but declined to comment further.

The kidnappers were not seen or heard in the video, which lasted one minute and 40 seconds and was digitally stamped with the dates Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, 2006. It began with an image of a Quran and a map of Iraq over a green background, changing to a title that read, “The National Islamic Resistance in Iraq. The Furkan Brigades. The captivity operation was done in the Safwan district in Basra.”

The video:

Rusty Shackleford has more.

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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 and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    Lets hope they are ok.

    Unfortunately, if Bush doesn’t even have the guts to stand up to “Hangman” al-Maliki to save a kidnapped US soldier, it is unlikely he will do anything to help rescue civilians.

  2. LJD says:

    Grow up. The President has nothing to do with this. Our troops are obviously doing everything in their power to bring our people home. Your comments do them a disservice more than they further your myopic political convictions.

  3. anjin-san says:

    The President has nothing to do with protecting the lives of Americans?

    Oh yea, I forgot, this one works for the oil companies…

  4. LJD says:

    Take it easy on the peyote Anjin.
    I said the President does not have the power as an individual, to secure the release of the hostages. That is, no more power than he has to control their desire to visit dangerous countries.
    Grasping at straws are we?

  5. anjin-san says:

    Actually LJD, you said this:

    “The President has nothing to do with this.”

    I suggest you look the word “nothing” up in the dictionary.

  6. LJD says:

    O.k., since I’m having a discussion with a child-like mentality, please explain to me how this President, or any of another political persuasion, might have done anything to get these citizens out of the hands of their captors?
    Keep in mind that U.S. citizens travel all the time to dangerous places, and are killed for it. Historically, Presidents have had very little influence, aside from use of special military units, to do anything about it.

    Do you even realize you have no argument at all, or are we just playing around at this point?