U.S. Marine And Pakistani Contractor Held Hostage

Details are still sketchy, but it appears that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al Qaeda network has upped the ante yet again.

alihassoun.jpg

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – Arab television broadcast videotape Sunday of two men taken hostage by militants, one described as a U.S. Marine lured from his base and the other a Pakistani driver for an American contractor. Insurgents threatened to behead them both.

The U.S. military confirmed that a Marine named Wassef Ali Hassoun had been missing from his unit for nearly a week. It said it was unclear if he had been taken hostage, but Hassoun’s name was on a Marine “active duty” identification card shown by militants in the videotape aired by the Al-Jazeera network.

In the video, the hostage had a white blindfold covering his eyes. He wore military fatigues, and his mustache was trimmed. The U.S. military said Hassoun was of Lebanese descent, though the Al-Jazeera report said the hostage’s origins were Pakistani.

The kidnappers claimed to have infiltrated a Marine outpost, lured Hassoun outside and abducted him. Al-Jazeera said the militants demanded the release of all Iraqis “in occupation jails” or the hostage would be killed.The transfer of power will not be disrupted, and the demands of the barbaric terrorists will not be met.

Update: The military has confirmed that a Marine named Corporal Hassoun of Lebanese descent went missing on June 21. Presumably they have been looking for him ever since.

Update2: In addition to prayers for the families of both men, I think this summary of Misha’s thoughts captures the mood of many of us tonight:

You don’t fuck with the United States Marine Corps and live to tell the tale… Now you die, assholes. Semper Fi!

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