Saturday, July 03, 2004

BREAKING NEWS: Iraqi militants behead U.S. Marine

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Most recent update: 2004/07/17: Record Internet Traffic Due to Gory Video Resurfacing.

Most recent related story: 2004/07/15 (and later updates): Bulgarian captive beheading video released to Al Jazeera.

Original July 3, 2004 Post:

As of 2004/07/03 11:17 PDT (GMT -7) Reuters has just broken the story that Iraqi militants have posted a written statement on their website that they have beheaded Lebanese-born U.S. Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun. The statement promises a videotape will be released soon.

Arab television previously broadcast a video from the militants on June 27 showing Hassoun blindfolded.

This is the second beheading this week.

Updates: 2004/07/03 16:24 PDT (GMT -7) Family (in seculsion) is shocked; as expected, some Marines vow revenge. Website (and latest Reuters stories) make reference to use of an Arab girl "honey trap" to lure him away from base. No video yet.

Update: 2004/07/04 Reuters and other organizations are reporting that one of the Islamic militant groups that claims to have kidnapped Hassoun has posted a new statement on its 'official' website, denying that it has beheaded him. (It does say that they plan to shortly, however.) Two other Islamic militant groups had earlier posted statements on their websites saying he had been beheaded. As Reuters points out, it is not clear which group is actually holding him. The group that issued today's statements, saying that Hassoun had not been killed, was not the first group to report his abduction. What is clear is that, if Hassoun has not yet been beheaded, the militants intend to do so shortly.

This denial may be an attempt by the militants to increase the suspense and media exposure related to this latest (pending) beheading. The militants' release of the past propaganda beheading videos was almost entitrely motivated by the expected media impact; public interest has become less with each new beheading. The militants are obviously very media-aware, and this may simply be an attempt at further media manipulation prior to the release of actual videos. Stay tuned.

Update: 2004/07/06 Reuters is reporting the family of the Marine has received word that he is safe and has been released after promising his captors that would leave the Marines. (Previously, they had announced they had beheaded the Islamic Marine, and were about to post the video of that beheading on their website.) If this isn't an attempt at publicity and media manipulation, I really don't know what is.

For the latest updates on this and other stories, please visit DFW Home.

Earlier DFW coverage:
DFW's satirizes beheading video popularity
U.S. bombs parking lot in retailiation for beheadings
South Korean attempts to censor DFW coverage
Terrorists have released a videotape of the beheading of South Korean hostage Kim Sun-il.
Paul Johnson beheading coverage

Other blog coverage of Matt Maupin bogus beheading elsewhere:
Terrorism Unveiled: Muslim Marine Beheaded, What Does Islamism Permit?
Zygote-Design U.S. Marine Murdered ?
On The Third Hand: Insane, sadistic fanatics claim to have beheaded a Marine hostage.
One Fine Jay: Marine murdered in Iraq
Backcountry Conservative: Marine hostage murdered?
Intergalactic Capitalist, the StarBanker Blog: U.S. Marine Reported as Beheaded
Brain Shavings: Marine slaughtered
Petrified Truth: Killed
Blogs of War: U.S. Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun Beheaded
Outside the Beltway: Terrorists Claim Marine Wassef Ali Hassoun Beheaded
Dean's World: Initial Report: Marine Hostage Killed? (Joe Gandelman)
The Command Post: Report: Marine Hostage Murdered
Chris Short: Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun Murdered Beheaded

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