Americans Kidnapped In Iraq Tell Their Story, Say Basically Kidnapped By Iraqi Government

It was on January 15, that a simple tea in Baghdad between an Army veteran, Waiel El-Maadawy, of Florida, Amr Mohamed of Bullhead City, Arizona, and Russel Frost of Wichita, Kansas, turned into a bleak situation when half an hour into their visit with Abu Marina, a man El-Maadawy had just hired as an interpreter, the commander of a Shiite Muslim militia arrived on the scene. The militia demanded to know who the Americans were.

Initially the men scoffed, unaware of the situation they were in for, but when the Americans realized they were unable to leave, and they were surrounded, their worries increased. El-Maadawy shared his feeling in that moment.

“We walk outside and he was right — we can’t leave. There were 40 guys there with heavy weapons. That’s when everything went downhill. We realized we were going to be taken.”

So began the 31-day ordeal that has remained a mystery until this point, never having been explained by the Obama administration. All three men, however, have agreed to tell their story through a series of interviews given in person and via phone.

The men recounted that after weeks of being held in shackles and being beaten repeatedly, they were released on February 16, having discovered that their reputations had been stained by words of Iraqi officials who explained away the details saying the men had been detained from a brothel. Additionally El-Madaawy and Mohamed, who are Egyptian-American cousins, were made aware that U.S officials originally believed that the two had been radicalized and were acting with the Shiite group in the incident.

The relief upon their release and what should have been a happy occasion of celebration for all three officers, was made sour by Frost, who is white, being draped in an American flag and welcomed as a hero, while the other two Arab-American vets, who had been tormented to a further extent due to being Muslim yet working for the U.S government, were received with no gesture of the sort.

El-Maadawy commented on the discrimination he still faces even after years of service to his nation.

“I’ve served my country as a soldier, a contractor and as a policeman and we’re still second-class citizens. Regardless of what we do, we’re never going to be seen by the mainstream as Americans.”

Frost admitted that the treatment he received was entirely different than that received by Waiel and Amr.

“I felt bad that Waiel and Amr did not get to experience that same welcome.”

The men were the first Americans kidnapped in Iraq since 2011, but their capture is a reminder as to how weak the Iraqi government is when Shiite Muslims backed by Iran are involved. Frost and El-Maadawy continued to share that Iraqi officials spread the falsity about the men having been grabbed while visiting a brothel to cover the truth that the Iraqi government could not secure the release of the foreign allies from men who are critical to defending the Iraqi government, but who operate outside the control of Prime Minister Haider Abadi’s control.

The Tribune states additional details about the relationship between the militia and government.

“The contractors say their captors belonged to the latest incarnation of the old Mahdi Army militia led by longtime U.S. enemy Muqtada al Sadr, a powerful Shiite cleric who protests Abadi’s policies but also has pledged to help government forces retake the northern city of Mosul from the Islamic State. The former captives are incensed that the brothel narrative endures, allowing Iraqi authorities to avoid holding anyone accountable for the abduction.”

All that being stated, the ironic truth of the matter is that it was as if the men were kidnapped by the Iraqi government, as El-Maadawy commented.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Share this article: Americans Kidnapped In Iraq Tell Their Story, Say Basically Kidnapped By Iraqi Government
More from Inquisitr