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SITE Publications
Ansar al-Sunnah Releases Video of Purported Japanese Hostage Capture
By SITE Institute
May 15, 2005

The Army of Ansar al-Sunnah operating in Iraq, posted a follow-up video clip of the operation where the group claimed a Japanese national, Akihiko Saito was taken hostage. The SITE Institute reported on May 9, 2005 the initial details of this claimed operation.

Akihiko Saito, whose passport Ansar al-Sunnah provided along with the statement, was allegedly captured following an ambush of ?several cars carrying contractors and Western intelligence.? The skirmish in Heit involved several of the group?s mujahideen and ?twelve Iraqis in addition to five foreigners who were armed with machine guns and hand grenades.? According to the message, as the mujahideen called in more forces, ?American helicopters arrived, the mujahideen captured and killed them all, with the exception of the Japanese national as it shows in his document.? The message states that: ?will publish documents and pictures of those were killed? and further, Saito is described as being ?injured badly.?

The six and a half minute video clip however does not show Mr. Saito but rather shows the badly burned bodies of four men of apparently Middle Eastern decent and the wreckage from the ambush. The video begins with a presentation of various identification documents of the four men, who appear to have been working with the coalition forces in Iraq. The setting then changes to an outdoor location, where several burning vehicles are shown. The insurgents then drag the four badly burned men from the vehicles and proceed to shoot them repeatedly with automatic weapons.

The video clip is provided to our Intel Service members.

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