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Five Americans Suspected Of Treason Held Captive In Iraq

Washington Post - The U.S. military is holding five U.S. citizens suspected of insurgent activities in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.

They were captured separately and don't appear to have ties to one another, spokesman Bryan Whitman said. He declined to identify them, citing a Pentagon policy that prohibits identification of detainees.

Three of those being detained are Iraqi-Americans; another is an Iranian-American; the fifth is a Jordanian-American, Whitman said. The three Iraqi-Americans were captured in April, May and June, officials said. The Iranian-American was captured May 17, one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the cases.

One of the Iraqi-Americans allegedly had knowledge of planning for an attack, and another was possibly involved in a kidnapping, Whitman said. The third was "engaged in suspicious activity," he said, declining to be more specific.

Whitman said the Iranian-American was captured with several dozen washing machine timers in his car-- items that can be used as components in bombs.

In Los Angeles, relatives identified him as Cyrus Kar, 44, a U.S. Navy veteran who lives in that city. He was in Iraq to film scenes for a documentary on King Cyrus the Great, founder of Persia, when he was arrested at a checkpoint in Baghdad in mid-May, his family said. They also said he has been cleared of wrongdoing and there is no legal authority for his detention.

They said he called them on May 24 and said he had been detained because of a misunderstanding involving a taxi driver who had been driving Kar and his cameraman around Baghdad. Kar was born in Iran but came to the United States when he was a child, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

The Jordanian-American was captured in a raid late last year and is suspected of high-level ties to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist and leading al-Qaida ally in Iraq. Officials announced his capture in March.

All five are in custody at one of the three U.S.-run prisons in Iraq-- Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca or Camp Cropper, Whitman said, declining to provide their precise location. The International Committee of the Red Cross has had access to all five prisoners, Whitman said.

A panel of three U.S. officers rules on whether each prisoner is properly held; that has already taken place for the Jordanian-American. Whitman did not say whether the three Iraqi-Americans or the Iranian-American have been through this process.

There's not a lot of additional information available on this right now. If I had to guess I'd say that all of these individuals are probably naturalized American citizens who remained loyal to their extreme Islamic roots instead of their adoptive nation. The 9/11 attacks and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq probably prompted them to get involved which led to their involvement with terrorist activities.

Or, alternativey, perhaps they are simply foreign infiltrators who obtained American citizenship as a means to their jihadist end.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that they all had ties to one extremist mosque or other Islamic organization back here state side and had been activity in terror activities within our borders as well.

But again, that's just speculation. We'll have to what comes of this. The Jawa Report will be a good place to watch for updates as they become available.

Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.


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Comments (16)

How lucky that Iraq is attr... (Below threshold)
McCain:

How lucky that Iraq is attracting foreign terrorists like a magnet. If they weren't there before the war, they are certainly there now, and what a wonderful place for a happy Jihad. Let them flock there until they are all dead.

As for the five "Americans", Clinto Eastwood could handle them: Hang 'em High.

We despise the hyphenated A... (Below threshold)

We despise the hyphenated American thing. You're either American or you're not. Period. We can only hope our country is less lenient than they were with the traitor they caught in Afghanistan. They should be hung, preferrably with barbed wire.

Just don't question their p... (Below threshold)
Leftist Troll:

Just don't question their patriotism or call them traitors...

Just don't question their p... (Below threshold)
Leftist Troll:

Just don't question their patriotism or call them traitors...

Ummm, remind me again how t... (Below threshold)
DelphiGuy:

Ummm, remind me again how the flypaper theory doesn't work, these people are not just coming locally from the region, they are coming all the way from the US.

Had they not been in Iraq, they could have been in the US working on the next 9/11.

As for the hyphenated american thing, remember, Islam transcends borders. They are muslim first, american/british/french/swedish/dutch last.

Reason has a <a href="http:... (Below threshold)

Reason has a somewhat more sympathetic take on the Iranian:

Cyrus Kar is a 44-year-old documentary filmmaker who lives in my neighborhood. An immigrant from Iran who came here at age nine, Kar served for four years in the U.S. Navy, supports the war in Iraq, and sleeps under a large American flag.

Does sound like maybe he’s getting a bum rap.

Actually, from the informat... (Below threshold)

Actually, from the information provided it almost sounds as if Kar was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, but then again he might very well be who you think he is. That washing machine timer thing is very hard to explain.

The article points out that... (Below threshold)
Rob:

The article points out that all the men will face a three-officer panel which will determine whether or not they should continue to be held. I'm pretty comfortable with that. If Kar is who he says he is he'll be released in due time. If not, he'll continue to be detained and will no doubt be pumped for information.

How lucky that Iraq is a... (Below threshold)
mantis:

How lucky that Iraq is attracting foreign terrorists like a magnet.

Not so lucky for the Iraqis, now is it?

RE: mantis's post (July 6, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: mantis's post (July 6, 2005 04:01 PM)

Not so lucky for the Iraqis, now is it?

Tragically true; however, still safer for the citizens collectively now than under the "stable" Hussein regime. And things are improving as the winds of change ever reform the landscape. It is still preferable to have terrorists holed up in one area than spread around the globe since terrorists of the caliber we witness from afar threaten everyone in due course. Far better to minimize the battlefield when the opponent depends upon stealth, utterly.

Tragically true; however... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Tragically true; however, still safer for the citizens collectively now than under the "stable" Hussein regime.

I guess that depends on your definition of "safe". I wonder how many Iraqis would agree with your assessment.

It is still preferable to have terrorists holed up in one area than spread around the globe since terrorists of the caliber we witness from afar threaten everyone in due course.?

So, by creating a battlefield in Iraq we have attracted many terrorists & fighters from other countries, and this tells you that the terrorists are not in other countries, but are all holed up in Iraq? You think this has somehow affected the extent to which terrorists are "spread across the globe"? Based on what?

Huh? Cyrus Kar sleeps unde... (Below threshold)

Huh? Cyrus Kar sleeps under a large American flag? Right. That would lead me to believe it's all a show to avoid suspicion.

RE: mantis's post (July 6, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: mantis's post (July 6, 2005 05:51 PM)

I guess that depends on your definition of "safe". I wonder how many Iraqis would agree with your assessment.

You asked this and I answered already; however, I'll append that safety is relative. I'd argue (though inexactly due to a dearth of hard data) that fewer Iraqis are at risk of dying today despite the terrorists than there were when Hussein routinely and randomly via his thugs killed thousands. The difference now is more likely one of perception when every death is televised/reported around the globe by a media with questionable motives beyond the dissemination of "fact". Under Hussein such timely reportage did not exist. Do tragic events instigated by these terrorists occur? Yes. Do we hear of bombings? Yes, every one of them by a "bleed, it leads" domestic press. Do we hear of retaliatory strikes against the ultra-Islamists? Intermittently and incompletetly - remember that the U.S. is not going to repeat the body-count accounting of Vietnam and neither are we going to hear of every strike against Al-Qaedists as explicitly stated by Mr. Bush years ago. Further, at least individual Iraqis are more free to fight back directly and indirectly (against terrorists who threaten them) should they choose than they were earlier, and that provides some "safety" whether a given Iraqi chooses to exercise that right or not.


...and this tells you that the terrorists are not in other countries, but are all holed up in Iraq? You think this has somehow affected the extent to which terrorists are "spread across the globe"? Based on what?

You have extrapolated my statement to set up a strawman but I'll play along. Many believe that Iraq is the current collecting pool of Islamic fundamentalists desirous of jihad... certainly you've heard this theory. I agree with such a theory based on limited knowledge but supplanted by logic and the logistics of warfare. This is the bulk of the terrorists "home turf" and sending in reinforcements makes sense since the personnel to wage war diminish by capture, injury, and death. They'll attrit before we will as this is not Vietnam reincarnate. I did not say "all" are holed up there, just that it would be beneficial in combating them if this aggregating trend continued.

You asked based on what. Well, the original blog entry article in this particular context. Hyphenated-Americans are apparently showing up for duty and they don't appear to be would-be entrepeneurs setting up hutches to sell popsicles for those ever so parched dissidents. That signifies an emigration from presumably safer confines to a more hostile front and a net increase in localized terrorist presence... that just happens to be in Iraq and certainly not a random move. I doubt this to be anecdotal evidence and the more that emigrate to Iraq, the fewer Hyphenated-Immigrants there will be to cause a ruckus elsewhere.

You may counter that by our mere presence there that the terror-making machines are churning out Zarqawi-Wannabes by the truckload and that there is a net increase, globally, of jihad-making, walking dead. I'll let you advance such a theory on your own, however, since such a defense would be based on wild speculation. At any rate I'll stand by my postion that a net emigration of jihadists into a smaller geography to face U.S. assets is a vastly superior, and safer, proposition for us, the Iraqis, and the rest of the world that worries about such infiltrators.

Just making sure you don't ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just making sure you don't actually think that terrorists in Iraq means no terrorists around the globe. It would of course be speculation to say that the war has led to an increase in jihadists overall, as there isn't any reliable data on the subject. Of course one news story about 5 Americans does not convince me that the war in Iraq is reducing the likelihood of terror here or anywhere else. Only time, I'm afraid, will do that. In any case when I see things like this:

At any rate I'll stand by my postion that a net emigration of jihadists into a smaller geography to face U.S. assets is a vastly superior, and safer, proposition for us, the Iraqis, and the rest of the world that worries about such infiltrators.

I again wonder what most Iraqis would think about that. You're right that the media loves a good explosion, and it is difficult to compare to the shrouded terror of Hussein's reign. For all I know many Iraqis are glad that Hussein is gone whatever the cost, and are grateful for what we've done. However, I wonder, now that that Saddam is gone, and fighting Americans is obviously what draws terrorists and jihadists and apparently these 5 Americans to the war, aren't we doing the Iraqis more harm than good? When did the purpose of the Iraq war change from the "liberating army of freedom and democracy" to using this country as the battleground for the great war on terror? Do you not see how the two are not compatible? We and the Iraqis were told this war would be quick and relatively painless, six months was a laughably long estimate. Unless you are going to tell me that those planning this war really had no idea such an insurgency would arise, then it must have been their purpose all along to use Iraq as a battleground and base in the WOT for the next "5,6,8,10,12 years". How can freedom and democracy flourish in a country with strong ethnic divisions, an occupying army from a western superpower, and a constant influx of foreign terrorists? Shall the Iraqis wait twelve years until the insurgency finishes its "last throes", and then they can have their country back? Will twelve years be enough?

RE: mantis's post (July 6, ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: mantis's post (July 6, 2005 09:38 PM)

I again wonder what most Iraqis would think about that [safety]...

I think most would agree but I can't interview them personally. The closest thing on which I may base such a perception is the continuing political process, the previous election, and the seemingly diminishing sphere of influence the jihadits possess. Locals are choosing sides and they seem to be opting for the coalition and fledgeling Iraqi government over their more oppressive "guests". Also, it's a bit too shortsighted (or should I say too narrow a vision) to look at this at an individual level as callous as that might superficially appear. This is a war with dangerous pockets of resistance though the resistance appears to be transiently mobile. A war cannot be waged without a big picture.

Surely, if one is on the receiving end of a piece of metal, one won't feel safe no matter whose muzzle sent it or whose torso detonated and the sacrifice may or may not, ultimately, seem worth it. But we recognize, and I'm certain the Iraqis as a civilized society do to, that the whole will be better off than the parts in due course. I do not buy the bleak picture presented by the traditional press despite some of the factual, and ugly, evidence of daily conflict. What we very rarely hear or read is the progress in infrastructure, financing, and compassion doled out by coalition members and associated NGOs. The Iraqis recognize this too though a sense of nationalism may mute the hazzahs and stymie backflips.

I'm not going to readdress the motivations of this war since this has been so debated in my mind to be a moot point. I agree with it and others don't and if one hasn't a cemented position by now, then one must be comatose. The war was instigated to protect American citizens and our interests first and foremost. The fact that it and the political atmosphere changes dynamically due to evolving data and perceptions doesn't sway my opinion. It was right at the time and predictive 20/20 hindsight is an unreasonable expectation... and it is right now. No one is able to predict war and its duration was of no consequence to me. I believe we waged this war to win whatever the timetable and cost, and I believe it is one worth fighting and supporting now since the stakes are rather high.

The U.S. and coalition are striving to establish a best case scenario in a horrendously difficult and historic endeavor and will provide the Iraqis their best opportunity for self-preservation and -determination. There is no guarantee that it will succeed just as there is no guarantee that a free democracy will persist on our own shores. Success is transient and fleeting. We are blessed to be in the right place at the right time though many far-left-wingers wouldn't recognize such blessings were they to smack 'em in the face and knock over their lattes. I'll not waste the effort to convice such dunderheadedness. If it takes twelve years in Iraq, then it takes twelve years in Iraq. The current pace of violence will not take that long but we can speculate 'til the cows come home. It will still be better there than it was under Hussein. Considering all of the alternatives available, we are their best hope... and I'll bet they know it. Sadly, their appreciation goes unrecognized (check that, ignored) by a significant portion of domestic and world press hell-bent on demonizing Bush, our military, and our reach. Much of the world wants our money and protection but do not want to share in the sacrifice to establish them... I think most Iraqis are learning that we are indeed allies much as the press opts to avoid it and are willing to share in that sacrifice as brutal as it may become. That commitment sounds a lot like a trait exhibited by the ancestry that settled this great nation and a perseverence that will make twelve years seem trivial when they pull out those 20/20 glasses.

Right these five just happe... (Below threshold)
TJ Jackson:

Right these five just happened to get wanderlust and decided to visit a warzone?




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