Al-Qaida airs video of captured U.S. troops

Updated: 2007-06-05 00:14

An al-Qaida front group released a video Monday it said showed militants capturing three American soldiers who disappeared following an ambush in Iraq in mid-May grainy black-and-white footage with the sound of gunshots in the background.

In this undated picture released by a colleague on Thursday, May 24 2007, U.S. Army Spc. Alex Jimenez, 25, left, of Lawrence, Mass. and Pvt. Byron W. Fouty, 19, of Waterford, Mich., center, of Delta Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment are seen in their barracks at Patrol Base Inchon in Quarghuli village near Youssifiyah, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq. Jimenez and Fouty are still missing twelve days after a May 12, 2007 ambush in Iraq left four U.S. soldiers and an Iraqi soldier dead. Their comrade, Pfc. Joseph Anzack, 20, from Torrance, Calif. was found in the Euphrates river Wednesday May 23, 2007. [AP]

The video, which was made available to The Associated Press by the Washington-based SITE Institute, showed confused and jerky night battle scenes, and later offered close-ups of two identification cards. It does not show the soldiers.

The body of one of the soldiers was later found in Iraq's Euphrates River, but the other two remain missing. Family friends of the missing men said the U.S. military briefed relatives about the video over the weekend.

At the end of the 10-minute 41-second video, the identification cards of the two missing soldiers were shown, with the headline: "Bush is the reason of the loss of your POWs" written on the screen above the cards. SITE did not say how it obtained the video, which featured the logo of media production house of the Islamic State of Iraq.

Along with the identification cards, the footage also showed credit cards, American and Iraqi money and other personal items that they called the militants called the "booty."

The video also showed footage, apparently taken before the ambush, of three masked men standing around a stand displaying a sketch of the area, mapping out the attack plan. One of the three men, who were all dressed in black, talked to the camera and pointed to the sketch. Another stood by him carrying a gun.

"I have urged you to bring me American prisoners. We will review now a previously prepared study in our zone to bring the enemy to a good area, and with God's help we will be able to storm their place and capture them at night," said the man, whose name was not given but was identified as one of the militant group's leaders.

A prominent Islamic Web sites that commonly posts videos from militant groups including the Islamic State of Iraq said in a banner headline that it would show the video within hours, but the video has not yet appeared.

In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said he had not seen any video but heard there were "promises made that a video may be released."

"Our search continues for the missing soldiers," Whitman said.

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