Monday, February 08, 2010

18 Americans Missing in Iraq - February 2010

According to a new article out tonight, including the latest kidnapping victim, Issa T. Salomi, there are 18 Americans currently missing in Iraq.

That number increases to 21 if 3 hikers, currently detained, who crossed over the border into Iran are included. Of the 18, 2 are American service members (1 of whom would be Sgt. al-Taayie). An other article in the Washington Post states that Salomi's kidnapping is the first since the summer of 2008.

I am only aware of the names of 7 missing Americans:

Kirk von Ackermann (2003)
Timothy E. Bell (2004)
Aban Elias (2004)
Dean Sadek (2004)
Jeffrey Ake (2005)
Sgt. Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie (2006)
Issa T. Salomi (2010)

Attached is a chart showing the incident date, name and status of those missing. Technically, the status of 'released' should more properly be referred to as 'Returned to Military Control' (RMC).

As mentioned in a previous post, there is good reason to believe there are more Americans missing in Iraq than those who have been reported. Employers and family members may choose to keep quiet for a number of reasons (ransom, etc). Just to be clear, 41 is the minimum number of those reported to have been kidnapped in Iraq to date.

Not included in the chart (at this time) are the troops taken POW (status: missing) during the invasion of March 2003. All were Returned to Military Control:

Spc. Edgar Hernandez
Spc. Joseph Hudson
Spc. Shoshana Johnson
Pfc. Patrick Miller
Sgt. James Riley
Pfc. Jessica Lynch
Chief warrant officer David Williams
Chief warrant officer Ronald Young Jr.

Missing Navy pilot Capt. Michael Scott Speicher, killed during Gulf War I, is also not included. (Speicher's remains were recently recovered).

The Washington Post article goes on to describe yet another hostage group, this time referred to as a US-Iraq Personnel Recovery Division. (see previous posts on the Hostage Working Group aka Office of Hostage Affairs) Pardon my cynicism, but perhaps the US government should consider establishing a permanent hostage recovery office not subject to regular name changes.

They search if someone’s missing in Iraq
By Scott Fontaine, The News Tribune, February 8, 2010
“The search never stops,” Lt. Col. Patrick Wright, the outgoing director of the U.S. Forces-Iraq personnel recovery division, said during an interview last month from Baghdad’s Al Faw Palace, the headquarters of the American military in Iraq. “If someone’s missing, someone’s looking for them.”
Officials confirm kidnapping of U.S. contractor in Iraq
By Ernesto LondoƱo and Leila Fadel, Washington Post, February 6, 2010
The abduction of contractor Issa T. Salomi, 60, of El Cajon, Calif., marks the first reported kidnapping of an American in Iraq since the summer of 2008.
Related posts

American Missing in Iraq - November 2009
November 1, 2009

Click the tag 'missing' for more information.


reader said...

That first article mentions that not all of the missing are American -- like the South Africans.

Susie Dow said...

Thank you for your comment.

Some information on the South African men missing in Iraq since 2006 can be found here at this blog:
Missing in Baghdad written by Marie Enslin, wife of one of the missing men.

There are still many more missing persons in Iraq. For instance, Alan McMenemy of Glasgow, Scotland is still missing even though the IT worker he was guarding at the time of his abduction was recently released.