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Two of Five Kidnapped in Iraq Have Been Freed In Iraqi Police Operation

AP is reporting:

Two of five kidnapped security company employees abducted in a convoy hijacking near the Kuwait border were freed in an Iraqi police operation Friday, the Basra provincial governor said.

Gov. Mohammed al-Waili also said one of the five was found dead near the southern city of Safwan. He did not give the victim's nationality.

"Police were able to free two of the foreigners kidnapped and they are in good health," al-Waili said in a telephone interview. He said he thought they were Americans but could not yet confirm their nationality.

Officials have said that four American security contractors and their Austrian co-worker were abducted in a convoy hijacking Thursday. The Austrian was found dead and one of the Americans was gravely wounded, an Iraqi police officer said.

Al-Waili said that the two freed employees were found in an area called Dawajin close to the border with Kuwait, where the convoy was hijacked.

U.S. officials in Baghdad said they could not confirm the governor's report.

Did that report say the release was the result of an "Iraqi police" operation? Very sad news that the kidnapped Austrian is dead. Continue to pray for those still held captive and for those risking their lives to free them.


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Comments (27)

We (the U.S. and Iraqis) be... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

We (the U.S. and Iraqis) better start figuring out how the Iraqi Police are being infiltrated (or how these terrorists are getting their hands on police uniforms), and figure it out fast.

Second, stop arresting the kidnappers when they're caught; summarily exexcute each one on the spot. A message needs to be sent and that is the ONLY message they will understand. You kidnap, you die. End of discussion.

But who cares about these g... (Below threshold)

But who cares about these guys? After all, they're what Kos called "mercenaries" and hired killers, so screw them.

J.

I'll have to disagree with ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I'll have to disagree with you on this one Peter. Executing them on the spot may indeed send a strong message, it may even send a message that helps the situation. However, part of the reason we are still there is to help bolster the government, instill stability, and train replacements to our forces.

If we are already worried about police force infiltrations...do we really want to train the remainder of them to start executing criminals on the streets? That will not help the political situation there. In a very young democracy, they are going to need to set examples for the future, and that should probably include trying people in court.

It's worked for us.

Also, taking them alive for... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Also, taking them alive for questioning could be just what is needed to break open this infiltration ring.

But who cares abou... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
But who cares about these guys? After all, they're what Kos called "mercenaries" and hired killers, so screw them.

And I really do hope he doesn't pass up this opportunity to say something equally as stupid about these men. Every time he spews this type of bile, people take notice.

Eventually, someone is going to recognize Markos on the street, someone he doesn't want to be recognized by.

Heralder: Don't you hope th... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Heralder: Don't you hope the 'someone' who reconizes KOS on the street just came out of a sporting goods store after purchasing a giant size hardwood baseball bat. My favorite weapon against tough guys. In a dark alley Take a really good swing and target the shins, break both legs, sit on his chest and have a talk, if the raise their head, a solid whack to the forehead gets and keeps their attention. No one ever comes back for a second talk.

Also, taking them alive ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Also, taking them alive for questioning could be just what is needed to break open this infiltration ring.

While my post is certainly visceral, I did consider this and have consider it at length. By all means, find out who the leader(s) are, then bring them in for coercive questioning. However, if that doesn't work...there have to swift consequences. (Keep in mind that these kidnappings are not reandom acts of crime, but acts of war during war time, and therefore swift decisions on the battlefield have to be made.)

My point is: There has to be some great consequence seen by the kidnappers/terrorists and those who cooperate with them in conducting these attacks. I agree with you that, to an extent, we have to lead by example; yet we also have to show an intolerance for this sort of barbarism.

If we are already worried about police force infiltrations...do we really want to train the remainder of them to start executing criminals on the streets?

I think that's a bit off the point, respectfully. We're not training the IP to randomly kill criminals on the spot, and I think that point can be made abundantly clear to any recruit; it's a zero-tolerance approach that says "this (death) is what's going to happen to you if you join the IP under false pretenses and have alterior motives". If that message is clear, then any borderline/wannabe terrorist is going to think twice about attempting to infiltrate the IP, especially if you plant moles within the recruits to help uncover such operations.

Also for the sake of argument, I'm going to assume the best about human nature here and say that the good IP officiers (and I'm sure there are plenty) have a sense of right and wrong and of honorable duty and justice, and therefore I don't believe they would just start shooting criminals as acts of swift and random justice. Perhaps I'm wrong in my hopeful assumption, but I think not.

Maybe we should do what Fox... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Maybe we should do what Fox News did: pay off the kidnappers.

Also, taking them alive ... (Below threshold)

Also, taking them alive for questioning could be just what is needed to break open this infiltration ring.

That's clearly pointless since the Iraqi police forces have been infilitrated from top to bottom by the Shiite militias and Iranian operatives working in Iraq. Where would one begin to clean it up? The force should really be completely disbanded and we should start over from scratch.

(These kidnapped contractors appear to have been taken by Sunnis posing as police however).

It should be pretty obvious that as the Iraqi police forces have increased in numbers and responsibility the violence in Iraq has gotten worse. There's a reason. We're giving weapons and training to people who are then terrorizing, kidnapping, torturing and murdering the Iraqi people.

In short, this just isn't working.

The force should really ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

The force should really be completely disbanded and we should start over from scratch.

From a logisitics and cost standpoint, that's simply not reasonable or plausible.

It should be pretty obvious that as the Iraqi police forces have increased in numbers and responsibility the violence in Iraq has gotten worse. There's a reason. We're giving weapons and training to people who are then terrorizing, kidnapping, torturing and murdering the Iraqi people.

I don't believe that's a sound correlation to make. But I believe there is some merit to your point in that IA and IP have sputtered in taking over security duties from the Coalition. Conversely they've also fight side-by-side with us in key battles (Tal Afar comes to mind).

We know why the Sunnis or members of Mahdi militia are doing this; what we need to do is find out how they are doing it; how they are organizing within the ranks; who's getting paid off at the higher levels to "turn the other way" when these operations take place (and don't think that isn't happening); and who are the leaders within the IP that organize these kidnappings.

Whatever the case, we need to figure this out and get it done. And I'll quote Micahel Leeden here, "faster, please..."

Brian:<b... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Brian:


Maybe we should do what Fox News did: pay off the kidnappers.

Brian, I know you're a leftard, but try reading and comprehending what you link so you don't look like such a fool.

from what you've linked...


"In fact," said Farah [the editor of WND], "what we reported is 100 percent accurate - that some of those believed to be involved with the kidnappings say they received money. Period. No one in the story even suggested the money originated with Fox."

emphasis added

All good points Peter:... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

All good points Peter:

I think that's a bit off the point, respectfully. We're not training the IP to randomly kill criminals on the spot, and I think that point can be made abundantly clear to any recruit; it's a zero-tolerance approach that says "this (death) is what's going to happen to you if you join the IP under false pretenses and have alterior motives".

I think I misrepresented my point. I don't believe they would randomly be killing criminals on the street, but I am sometimes doubtful that certain prejudices (perhaps religious) can be overlooked for duty's sake (which is not soley an Iraqi problem.) To be safe, I think it best to not even tempt fate and say across the board, "If you can get them into custody without harm to yourself or others, do so."...and that that should be policy.

This is taking into consideration your optimistic outlook on the Iraqi Police officers. I think in summary, mine is perhaps a little less optimistic.

I'm trying to keep in mind that at some point we won't be there in an advisory role, and the men we are training now, are going to be training future recruits.

Hostages...murders..the peo... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Hostages...murders..the people of Iraq have been experiencing this daily for a very long time..

at this point in time..every decesion will be wrong..however..it will not be better in 3 or 6 months...Bush is locked in and that will not change..but we have and we must...

..and Scrap..your huff and puffiness is so thin...every day brave men and women wearing a uniform...are in the real freakin' alleys...and they aren't assuming any "kick their ass" fantasy hubris..they just want to make it out..of the other end of the alley...
folks who have been in combat know it is about primal fear of mortality..
....may they come home soon...and healthy...

Larkin:Th... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Larkin:

That's clearly pointless since the Iraqi police forces have been infilitrated from top to bottom by the Shiite militias and Iranian operatives working in Iraq.

The thing is Larkin, while that may seem to be the case, we don't know how extensive the problem...i.e., is it 2% or 10% of the force?

The force should really be completely disbanded and we should start over from scratch.

That didn't work so well with the Iraqi Army when we arrived...and I think it would be folly to repeat the mistake with the Police Force.

AP: A top Iraqi police offi... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

AP: A top Iraqi police official in Basra said none of the five kidnapped security company employees had been freed. He claimed the provincial governor, who announced the release of two of the hostages, had confused separate incidents in the same area involving private security forces.

This is f-ing unbelievable. Who are the other group? What happened to the 30 to 150 hostages from earlier this week.

Scrapie, do you want spoof on this?

nogo postal: You need a les... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

nogo postal: You need a lesson in reading and understanding what was written. Never was there a mention of using a baseball bat in Iraq, that's what guns are for. The baseball bat was for 'screw em' KOS. Combat, been there and done that (Vietnam Vet, we won the war, lost 50K Honorable americans, the dim's snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, killed 3 to 5 million people in Southease Asia and are proud of the blood on their hands and their cowardance) probably before you were a gleam in your daddy's eyes. He should have thrown you in the comode in a condom and flushed. Soon there will be no more like you, the dim's will have murdered (partial birth aborted) all of them.

Only problem with the baseb... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Only problem with the baseball bat is he will have the last laugh in the form of a lawsuit.
I think, perhaps, an artful job of scaring the ever loving shit out of him would be more rewarding. And it would probably be alot easier on the arms as well ;)

Brian, I know you're a l... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, I know you're a leftard, but try reading and comprehending what you link so you don't look like such a fool.

Says the guy who copied and pasted one silly passage without noting what follows it:

"Roger Ailes says the story is 100 percent false. But he is alleging it says something it clearly does not say.

"Further, Fox News executives and spokesmen had two weeks to provide a response to WND before the story was published. They understood in advance what would be published and repeatedly refused to make a statement on the record. Off the record, they did not deny it was possible money was paid by another party."

Not to mention from the original article:

A spokeswoman for Fox News Channel told WND she could not provide an official statement about whether Fox was aware of money paid to free its two employees.

A source at Fox told WND many parties were involved with the freedom of Centanni and Wiig, including the U.S. government, and that it was possible money was paid.

A State Department spokesman said his agency did not pay for the release of the Fox News employees.

So does the story come right out and say "Fox paid off kidnappers"? No, of course not. And that's the passage that you quoted and think is meaningful.

But Fox did say it's possible they were involved in paying the money, but they cannot confirm or deny it.

What does your spider-sense tell you about that statement, Sherlock?

Heralder, we had this debat... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Heralder, we had this debate a couple of days ago..But the situation is changing so rapidly..Are we supporting the shiite militias, the Shiite Option? those that infiltrated the police or not? only Bush's National Security team knows, or do they?

Scrap..ah where I got the b... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Scrap..ah where I got the bat/never been in alley fight in your life/idea was this...

"a giant size hardwood baseball bat. My favorite weapon against tough guys. In a dark alley Take a really good swing and target the shins, break both legs, sit on his chest and have a talk, if the raise their head, a solid whack to the forehead gets and keeps their attention. No one ever comes back for a second talk."

Just wondering..when you last did this..next to a person in uniform? ..ANYWHERE?...can you prvide any clippings of unsolved battered bodies in an alley? ya know...those who you have taken care of with the same brvado you post here....the cool thing about the net...we can all pretend we are wearing that super hero costume..on halloween..

yep...scrap...if you were a... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

yep...scrap...if you were a grunt in the bush of Nam..then you know...just because we have your back doen't mean...we would rather not...
..if you have not moved beyond Nam...may I suggest you check out one of the many PROGRAMS (although diminishing)the V.A. offers...
as a fellow vet who saw and did too much..too early...we are linked..stronger than either of ue understand..

Steve:I think you ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Steve:

I think you ask a legitimate question: Who's side do we pick? (And let's not forget the Kurds in all this; they suffered greatly under Saddam and have shown remarkable restraint and diplomacy since the liberation.).

I think we can rule out Moqtada al Sadr and any militias; we do not need a mini-Ayatollah Khomeini in charge of things. We are going to have to do battle with them at some point (We should've done that 2 years ago, but that's hindsight).

After that it's--how does the old saying go?--war is a series of bad options and you try to pick the best out of all the bad opttions. (Or something to that affect...)

Heralder,My point ... (Below threshold)

Heralder,

My point is that the Iraqi police forces have become an instrument of sectarian warfare in that country. The Sunnis fear the police forces because they know they are heavily infiltrated by Shiite militias and even the common criminals that Saddam loosed from his prisons before we invaded.

So the only solution is to disband them completely and replace them with US troops. That would require 100-150,000 more troops who would take complete control of Baghdad and the surrounding areas. This could, I believe, stop the expanding civil war provided it was combined with an outreach to the base of the Sunni insurgency (excluding Al Qaeda) that is at war with us for no other reason than the fact that we have sided so lopsidedly with the Shiites.

We could be successful in Iraq provided we had enough boots on the ground. 140,000 troops in a country of 26 million just doesn't cut it. We need at least twice that amount. But, of course, that's now impossible because our leadership doesn't have the political will to do that and the Republicans just ran a campaign whose basic premise was to stay the course in terms of troop levels.

Let's bring our troops home... (Below threshold)

Let's bring our troops home, starting today.

Baghdad residents want a withdrawal. The war's not popular here. Our troops want to come home before the end of the year. How many more have to die for war supporters to be happy?

It will come down to the <i... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

It will come down to the Decider...and as John Cole said Bush went to Vietnam and boasted about how "we would have won if we had not quit." This was, he said, "the lesson for Iraq of the Vietnam War." He managed to be wrong about two wars at once and to anger both his hosts (how churlish!) and the Iraqi public." Bush is probably pleased we that we get to fight the Vietnam war over again in Iraq, to do what the 'Best and Brightest' couldn't do in Vietnam with 500,000 troops in 1968.

Nicolai, we saw what happen... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Nicolai, we saw what happens when we cut and run in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq I, and several other conflicts. Add in Rwanda, Darfur, and others.

The most vicious party takes over the vaccuum, starts by eliminating all their political enemies, stacks the legilative and judicial bodies with their pals, and having disposed of their real enemies, starts thinking about who MIGHT be their enemies, eliminates them, and then settles down to serious ethnic cleansing. Wait a minute -- I'm not really talking about last week's US elections, probably. I'm talking about Iraq.

Baghdad residents want a... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Baghdad residents want a withdrawal.

And in the same breath they know what will happen if we leave.

The war's not popular here.

Neither was Saddam.

Our troops want to come home before the end of the year.

Of course they do. However, ask them if they want to get the job done first...

How many more have to die for war supporters to be happy?

You're an ass. You think any soldier's death somehow brings joy to our heart's Go take a flying leaq off a tall cliff, you hapless, "I'm in Iraq" phoney blowhard.




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