By Gerry G. Gilmore
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2006 – U.S. forces in Iraq have arrested several Iraqis suspected of involvement in the Jan. 7 abduction of an American journalist, a senior U.S. military officer told reporters in Baghdad today. "Coalition forces have detained four Iraqi men that we believe to have been involved in the kidnapping of Jill Carroll, the 'Christian Science Monitor' journalist held hostage in Iraq for 82 days earlier this year," Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell VI said during a Baghdad press briefing. The general did not say when the suspects were arrested.
Carroll was kidnapped in western Baghdad. She was released unharmed March 30. Analysis of intelligence information led forces on patrol to a group of residences believed to have been used to house Carroll during her ordeal. "Troops on the ground, young Marines and sailors, paid attention to what may have been considered minor details at the time," Caldwell said.
Specifically, a Marine lieutenant from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, noticed a unique structure on a green door that he had read about in intelligence reports. On further investigation, other details about the house convinced the Marine that Carroll had been held there. Information from the owner of that house, who the patrol detained, led troops to several others that officials believe were used during Carroll's kidnapping and others. At the third such location that troops investigated, a house north of Abu Ghraib, U.S. soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division rescued two kidnapping victims and detained three other individuals.
"The hunt continues for anybody and anyone else that was involved not only in these kidnappings but in those who scorn law and order, who disrupt democracy and who spread terror in the lives of the everyday Iraqi citizens," Caldwell said.