Shiite Militants Kidnap American Contractor in Iraq

Kidnappers' demands include prosecution of Blackwater guards
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2010 4:40 PM CST
In this image from a video on a militant website, a man believed to be missing civilian contractor Issa T. Salomi is seen in front of a banner reading Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or League of the Righteous.

(Newser) – A Shiite extremist group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of a Iraqi-American contractor who went missing in Baghdad Jan. 23. Shiite militiamen lured him into a trap by promising to help him find distant relatives, an Iraqi defense official said today. The militants posted a video online that shows a man wearing military fatigues reading a list of demands that includes the release of militants, the prosecution of Blackwater guards and an immediate American troop withdrawal.

A high-ranking Iraqi defense official and an American intelligence official identified the man in the video as Issa T. Salomi, the 60-year-old missing contractor from El Cajon, California. A US intelligence official said initial investigations indicated Salomi was abducted by criminals for revenge or money.

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