October 30, 2006

Missing U.S. Soldier Snatched By al Sadr's Mahdi Army

The American translator kidnapped last week has been identified, and it appears that he broke Army regulations by marrying an Iraqi civilian:

A U.S. Army translator missing after being kidnapped in Iraq had broken military rules to marry an Iraqi woman and was visiting her when he was abducted, according to people who claim to be relatives of the wife.

According to a report in Monday editions of The New York Times, the relatives said that the soldier, previously unidentified by the U.S. government, is Ahmed Qusai al-Taei, a 41-year-old Iraqi-American. The family did not know he was a soldier until after the kidnapping, the relatives said.

Taei married a 26-year-old college student, Israa Abdul-Satar, three months ago, the family said. They showed visitors photographs of the couple's wedding and honeymoon, the newspaper reported.

The relatives said members of the Shiite Mahdi Army militia came to the wife's home on Oct. 23 and dragged Taei into their car.

It should be pointed out that the situation al-Taei put himself in is one of the reasons why the military discourages soldiers from marrying into the local population, as it places both the soldier and the family at risk for reprisal attacks.

If al-Sadr's Mahdi Army is indeed behind the kidnapping, the situation has the potential for causing significant a significant political rift, as it may force a more aggressive targeting of the Shiite militia that has formed part of the base of support for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 30, 2006 10:23 AM | TrackBack

I wonder how this guy's chain of command will answer during the investigation(s) that will no doubt follow? "Well, Sir, I guess we just weren't aware that he was going out, meeting women, and marrying them." The only good thing for him is that he was captured by a group that has been known to negotiate in the past I guess, and Al-Sadr probably doesn't want to stir the hornet's nest by whacking this guy and putting it all over the internet. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Posted by: paully at October 30, 2006 11:09 PM