Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Iraq militants say they will not hand over Briton

GulfNews.com  July 9, 2010

Baghdad: A Shiite militant group in Iraq said on Saturday that it would not hand over a British bodyguard it abducted four years ago, in a statement worded to suggest Alan McMenemy remains alive.

“The American occupiers did not stop their procrastination and delays in handing over our mujahedeen (holy warriors) in their prisons, so we declare we will not give them the British hostage Alan McMenemy,” said a statement from the Asaib Ahel al-Haq, or League of the Righteous.

“We will keep him until our demands our met,” said the statement, signed by Sheikh Akram al-Ka’bi, the deputy leader of the group, which Washington says is backed by Iran.

McMenemy dead or alive

The Arabic-language statement was worded to suggest that McMenemy, 34, was still alive, although the British government has believed for some time that he was killed by his kidnappers.

He was one of four bodyguards working with British computer consultant Peter Moore, when the five were kidnapped from the finance ministry in Baghdad in May 2007 by some 40 gunmen from the breakaway Shiite militia.

Moore was released unharmed in December 2009, and the bodies of the three other Britons, Alec MacLachlan, 30, Jason Swindlehurst, 38, and Jason Creswell, 39, were handed over to British officials in 2009.

The Iraqi government said in January last year it was expecting the Shiite group to imminently hand over McMenemy’s body, but the handover never happened

Please read more here

July 9, 2011 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractors Kidnapped, Contractors Missing, Iraq, Private Security Contractor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US. contractor recounts kidnapping

AP  Julie Watson

SAN DIEGO — A U.S. Army contractor kidnapped in Iraq earlier this year described how his captors easily maneuvered past Iraqi checkpoints as he was held bleeding on the floor of their car.

In his first media interview since he was freed safely in March, Issa Salomi told The Associated Press he was handed over in exchange for four militants in Iraqi detention.

Shiite extremist group Asaib Ahl al-Haq, or “the League of the Righteous,” claimed responsibility for his kidnapping. The group is believed to be close with Iran, and agreed last year to lay down its arms and join the Iraqi political process. Their current role is unclear.

“You can say they are the Hezbollah of Iraq,” said Salomi, referring to Lebanon’s militant group. “I don’t believe Americans, particularly decision-makers, know the depths of the currents taking shape in Iraq. After spending two months talking with them, reading their material, I know them better than anybody. Their influence is very strong, and I suspect it will grow.”

The Pentagon has given no details about Salomi’s disappearance Jan. 23 or his surprise return March 25.

After his release, Army officials questioned the 60-year-old resident of San Diego for weeks about his experience and the group.

The same group reportedly kidnapped British computer consultant Peter Moore in May 2007 along with his four British bodyguards.

Moore, who was working for a U.S. company, was handed over to Iraqi authorities in late December at the same time that the group’s head, Qais al-Khazali, was transferred from U.S. to Iraqi government custody. Three of Moore’s bodyguards were killed and the fourth is believed dead.

Salomi watched the video of Moore during his captivity and believes they were held in the same room.

He said he was gathering information on the country’s upcoming elections for the U.S. Army.

He declined to specify where he was in Baghdad at the time of his kidnapping. An Iraqi defense official said shortly after his abduction that the U.S. citizen — who grew up in Baghdad and was the son of the Iraqi monarchy’s photographer — was lured off a U.S. military base by militiamen who promised to help find his distant relatives. Read the entire story here

August 12, 2010 Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Iraq, Safety and Security Issues | , , , , | Leave a comment

Families awaiting Iraq Body ID

Update US Names Hostage Killed in Iraq Alec MacLachlan
Families waiting for Iraq body ID

(UKPA) – 26 minutes ago

The families of the British hostages kidnapped in Baghdad are facing an anxious wait to discover the identity of a body handed to Iraqi authorities.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was “deeply saddened” that the body, believed to be a hostage, had been passed to the British embassy in Baghdad.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the “distressing news” would not diminish the Government’s determination to secure the release of the remaining hostages.

It is understood that the body will be that of either Alan McMenemy or Alec MacLachlan, whose families were told by the Government six weeks ago they were “very likely” to be dead. The two were captured in 2007 along with fellow security guards Jason Swindlehurst and Jason Creswell, whose bodies were found earlier this year, and the man they were guarding, IT consultant Peter Moore.

Graham Moore, the father of IT contractor Peter, said he had been told that the body found was not that of his son.

He said: “I got a message from Leicestershire Police this morning and it is definitely not Peter. It’s back to how it was in June, it’s good news for us but bad news for one of the other families unfortunately. I understand the family has been informed but the name hasn’t been released yet.”

A Downing Street spokesman said a process was “now under way to urgently establish identity” of the body.

He said: “The Prime Minister is in close touch with the Iraqi prime minister about this case. He will leave no stone unturned in the Government’s efforts to secure the release of the remaining hostages. The Prime Minister’s thoughts are with their families at this extremely difficult time.”

The five Britons – Mr Moore and his four bodyguards – were seized by about 40 armed men wearing police uniforms at the finance ministry in Baghdad on May 29 2007. The bodies of Mr Swindlehurst, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Mr Creswell, originally from Glasgow, were handed over to Baghdad officials in June.

The families of security guards Mr McMenemy, from Glasgow, and Mr MacLachlan, from Llanelli, south Wales, were told by the Foreign Office in July that their loved ones were “very likely” to have died.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment