U.S. Hostage Jeffrey Ake Appeals for Life on Video-TV

An American hostage was shown on videotape urging the U.S. government to negotiate his release, Al Jazeera has reported.

U.S. Hostage in Iraq Appeals for Life on Video-TV (Reuters)

An American hostage in Iraq urged the U.S. government in a video to negotiate with his captors to save his life, Al Jazeera television reported on Wednesday. The video showed the man, apparently a contractor kidnapped on Monday, holding up his passport as armed masked insurgents stood by. Al Jazeera said the hostage “urged the U.S. administration to open a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance … to save his life.”

The hostage’s name has not been released, as per State Department policy.

(1021): The man’s name is Jeffrey Ake. (Post title changed accordingly.)

Video shows US captive in Iraq (Aljazeera)

An American citizen who was taken captive in Iraq on Sunday has pleaded for his life in a video broadcast on Aljazeera. The tape on Wednesday showed a man sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns toward him. He was holding what looked like a passport and a photo identification.

The US embassy spokesman in Baghdad — Bob Callahan – confirmed the captive’s name as Jeffrey Ake and that the pictures appeared to be consistent with his appearance but declined to give further details.

Aljazeera did not air the tape’s audio, but said Ake had asked the US government to start a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance. The channel added the contractor had also asked Washington to begin withdrawing from Iraq and to save his life.

(1150): Michael King has a screenshot from Ake’s video.

(1155): Video shows U.S. hostage in Iraq (CNN)

Photo: Al-Jazeera aired video of men pointing weapons at a hostage believed to be American Jeffrey Ake.A hostage shown in a videotape on an Arabic language satellite TV network Wednesday is the American who was kidnapped Monday at a construction site in Baghdad, according to a U.S. Embassy official. The official said an identification card shown in the video bears the name Jeffrey Ake, which is the name of the abducted man. The official said Ake is a resident of Indiana.

Al-Jazeera aired video of armed men pointing their machine guns at the hostage. On the tape the man isn’t heard speaking, but Al-Jazeera reports he is asking the U.S. government to open a dialogue with the insurgents and that U.S. troops leave Iraq.

(1340): Rusty Shackleford has done some digging and found Ake’s web site and discovered he is “the President of a Rolling Prairie, IN, based water company, Equipment Express.” He also posts photos and excerpts.

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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. Herb says:

    I just don’t understand why our government continues to put up with Al Jezera and not take them “off the air”. I am sure we have the technical know how and the necessary tools to accomplish the feat. By letting them stay on, we provide them with a huge propanganda platform around the world.

  2. E Burleson says:

    While I do not condone very much of what Al Jezeera shows on their broadcast, I could never condone the US stopping them. That is one of the great things about this country – freedom of speech. We allow people within and without to criticize us unmercifully sometimes and still we grow stronger. In the world society, we are the ones to look up to – despite what the UN thinks…why else does everyone want to come here so badly?

  3. McGehee says:

    I just don’t understand why our government continues to put up with Al Jezera and not take them “off the air”.

    There would be no surer way of igniting what there is of “the Arab street” that’s worth worrying about. Sometimes you have to disarm your enemy’s propaganda by letting it be propagated without interference.

  4. S. Long says:

    The reason why Al Jezerra is allowed to broadcast video of American hostages is the exact reason why we have troops in Iraq….Which is to promote Democracy, which includes freedom of speech!

  5. thee says:

    SSOOPP!! @ the,…