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.”
Rusty Shackleford has more.