Brit Kidnappings Linked to Iraqi Officials
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 3:52 AM CDT
Iraqi Army soldiers search vehicles at a temporary checkpoint in the Shiite enclave of Sadr City in Baghdad, Iraq shortly after the 2007 kidnapping of five Britons.   (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
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(Newser) – The kidnapping of five British men in Baghdad two years ago appears to have been masterminded by Iraqi officials instead of insurgents, a Guardian investigation finds. Technology specialist Peter Moore and his bodyguards were seized from Iraq's Finance Ministry by 40 men in police uniforms. Interviews with Iraqi and British sources reveal that the kidnappers had inside help, and that the motivation was almost certainly the work Moore was doing to prevent corruption.

Moore was installing a new computer system that would have tracked the movement of oil money, potentially revealing billions of dollars in embezzlement. The well-planned kidnapping "was on a state level, not al-Qaeda," said one witness. "Only the state has the capability to carry this out." Moore is the only one of the five men believed to still be alive. "I appeal to the Iraqi government to bring about the safe release of my son," his mother said on learning of the Guardian's findings.