Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Eritrea opposition figure feared abducted in Sudan

AFP  February 16, 2012

An Eritrean opposition party official has been missing for two days in eastern Sudan and there are fears he may have been kidnapped by Asmara’s security agents, the party alleged on Thursday.

Mohammed Ali Ibrahim, a member of the People’s Democratic Party central council, left his house in Kassala town at 8:00 am (0500 GMT) on Tuesday and has not been seen since, the party said in a statement emailed to AFP.

Sudanese police and the Kassala hospitals had no word on him, it said.

“The big fear prevailing in Kassala is that he might have been kidnapped by security agents of the Eritrean regime, who enjoy free mobility in the region,” it said.

Eastern Sudan is home to tens of thousands of ethnic Eritreans

Please see the original and read more here

February 16, 2012 Posted by | Africa, Eritrea, Sudan | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. engineer’s remains found in Afghanistan

Kidnapped Army Corps worker killed in Afghanistan

Channel 13 WVEC Washington DC  September 7, 2011 8:00 pm

A man who worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Norfolk was killed in Afghanistan.

James W. Coker, 59, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., was pronounced dead Sept. 5 in Kabul, Afghanistan, while on temporary assignment with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Coker worked for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic in Norfolk.

The circumstances surrounding Coker’s death are under investigation.

According to the Associated Press, Coker was a civilian working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when he was kidnapped from his Afghanistan power plant and strangled to death.

Carrie Hughes, Coker’s daughter, told The Associated Press that military officers came to her house near Charleston, South Carolina on Monday to inform her that her father had been killed.

It was not known who killed the Coker or under what circumstances he was abducted. Also Tuesday, the bodies of two Germans who had apparently been murdered were retrieved from a remote location. Neither area is known to be a hotbed of militant activity.

CBS News  September 6, 2007

An Afghan military official tells CBS News that the body of a U.S. national was found beheaded on Monday in eastern Kabul, days after a civilian engineer went missing in the capital city.

Intelligence sources in Afghanistan told the Reuters news agency the body was that of the missing American civilian, and the international military coalition confirmed that a U.S. engineer had been killed.

Please see the original here

Special section: Afghanistan

The slain engineer was identified as James W. “Will” Coker by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for which he worked in Kabul as a construction contractor.

Kidnappings and targeted killings of foreigners are common in Afghanistan, but less so in the sprawling capital city, which has seen less impact from the Taliban- and al Qaeda-led insurgency plaguing many parts of the nation.

Coker was reported missing on Monday, but sources tell CBS News he actually disappeared on Sept. 2

September 6, 2011 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing, USACE | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Memorial Service For Contractor Timothy Bell Missing In Iraq since 2004

The family of a contractor missing in Iraq for seven years is holding a memorial service even though they’re not completely convinced he’s dead.

MOBILE, AlabamaThe family of a contractor missing in Iraq for seven years is holding a memorial service even though they’re not completely convinced he’s dead.

Timothy Bell’s sisters spent Thursday morning putting the finishing touches on the service, which is scheduled for Saturday, the seven year anniversary of his disappearance.

Bell was one of 17 Americans wounded or captured when their convoy was ambushed two weeks before he was scheduled to return home. Nine Americans were killed in the attack, and last year the Department of Defense declared Bell dead too.

Bell’s family still has questions. “I’m not convinced by a piece of paper,” said Felicia Carter, Bell’s sister. “Yes, we will have a service. We will celebrate his life, and we will still leave here with a void of not knowing 100% what happened to Tim,” Carter said.

The memorial service is scheduled for 10am on Saturday, April 9 at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church on Sengstak Street in Mobile.

Bell’s family has invited the public to attend the service.  Please see the original here

Iraq Convoy was sent out despite Threat

April 7, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Iraq, KBR, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Four New York Times staffers go missing in Libya

By Joshua Norman CBS News March 16, 2011

Covering the various uprisings in the Middle East has proven incredibly hazardous for the journalism profession, no more so than in Libya.

Just last week, an Al Jazeera cameraman was shot and killed covering the uprising against Muammar Qaddafi.

On Wednesday, an award-rich team of reporters and photographers from the New York Times went missing, the paper announced.

Complete coverage: Anger in the Arab World Seif Qaddafi: Conflict over in 48 hours

In a report on the newspaper’s Media Decoder blog, it states:

“Editors at the paper said they were last in contact with the journalists on Tuesday morning New York time. The paper said it had received second-hand reports that members of its reporting team on the ground in the port city of Ajdabiya had been swept up by Libyan government forces.”

The Times’ executive editor Bill Keller said the Libyan government has assured the paper that they will find and return the journalists as soon as possible, if they were indeed captured by government forces.

The missing journalists are all combat-reporting veterans. They are: reporter Anthony Shadid, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 and 2010 for his Iraq war coverage; reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2009 and later freed by British commandos; photographer Tyler Hicks, who has worked extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia, to name a few; and photographer Lynsey Addario, who has also covered most of the world’s large conflicts in the last decade.  Please read the entire story here

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Journalists, Libya, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Woman, Linda Norgrove, USAID Worker, DIA, Missing Captured Kidnapped in Afghanistan

BBC Update

Linda Norgrove, 36, from Lewis in the Western Isles of Scotland, was employed by US aid group DAI. She was seized with three local staff on 26 September.

Their two-car convoy was ambushed in the eastern province of Kunar.

Ms Norgrove was killed by her captors on Friday during a rescue mission by US forces.

Her colleagues were released unharmed last week

The Briton is believed to have been taken by her captors from village to village as British, Afghan and other intelligence agencies worked in the remote and mountainous area of Kunar province to locate her.

Both the prime minister and Foreign Secretary William Hague were kept fully informed and British approval was given for a rescue mission to be mounted on Friday night, involving US forces with British officials offering advice.

In a statement, Mr Hague said the aid worker was “killed at the hands of her captors in the course of a rescue attempt”.

He said: “Working with our allies we received information about where Linda was being held and we decided that, given the danger she was facing, her best chance of safe release was to act on that information.

9 October 2010 Last updated at 09:06 ET BBC News

A British aid worker who was abducted in Afghanistan last month has been killed by her captors.

Linda Norgrove died during an attempt by US special forces to rescue her. She was 36 and from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and was working in Afghanistan for the American aid group, DAI.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said everything possible was done to rescue to Ms Norgrove.

The following are excerpts from a variety of reports that are available as of 10 am est

Will update with details as reports are confirmed.

Linda Norgrove from May

Ten Aid Workers DIA from August

The Foreign Office is investigating the disappearance of a British national in Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman said: “We are working with other international agencies to urgently investigate these reports.”

She is said to have been travelling in a convoy of two vehicles, with others working for the US civilian contractors, when they were attacked by insurgents

She was working for an American contractor when the convoy she was travelling in was intercepted by militants.

LONDON — Britain’s Foreign Office says it is investigating reports that a U.K. citizen has disappeared in Afghanistan.

The ministry confirmed that a Briton is missing, but declined to provide further details or specify the region where the person had disappeared.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said it was “working with other international partners to urgently investigate these reports.”

Britain’s Sky News television reported the person involved was a British woman working for a U.S. company.

The channel claimed the woman may have been kidnapped after a convoy of two vehicles was ambushed in the eastern Kunar province.

The Foreign Office said it could not confirm reports about the nature of the incident.

Afghan media reported that the Briton was employed by Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) an American aid contracting firm.

The attack happened on Sunday morning in eastern Kunar province as the aid workers were travelling in two vehicles from Asadabadm the provincial capital, to Jalalabad.

Suspected insurgents stopped them in the Spin Jumaat area of Sawakai district at 11am local time, said Gen Abdus Saboor Allahyar, the provincial police chief.

He said DAI workers had not informed police of their journey.

September 26, 2010 Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties, Private Security Contractor, Safety and Security Issues, State Department | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment