Iraq releases 3 security contractors: Congressman
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 16:43
  
New York: Three security contractors including two Americans were released by Iraqi Army forces after they were held for more than two weeks, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security announced as he demanded a full report on the episode.

Republican Rep Peter King of New York identified the men, who were released yesterday, as Army veteran Alex Antiohos of West Babylon, New York, National Guardsman Jonas March of Savannah, Georgia, and Kevin Fisher of Fiji.

King said they were working for a security firm when Iraqi Ministry of Defence officials rejected paperwork prepared on their behalf by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and began holding them on December 9.

The men weren't charged with any crimes and King said it appeared that they were not injured.

He said Antiohos, who lives on Long Island, spoke to his wife yesterday, and he was expected to be home later this week.

"She said he seems to be doing well," he said. King said they were released yesterday after efforts by his office, the State Department, the US Embassy in Baghdad, the Defence Department and the White House.

He said he will demand answers from the Iraqis as well from US authorities about how the incident was handled after they learned about the men.

"We're going to have thousands of contractors over there, including many Americans. Can the Iraqis just take them off the street and hold them? This is a terrible precedent. We have to get to the bottom of this," he said.

The New York congressman said he was concerned that US military authorities had not been notified by the US Embassy that the men were being held and that embassy representatives had not visited the men when he learned about it from Antiohos' wife last week.

"We have to find out if there could have been better coordination between all the agencies to make sure something like this doesn't happen again," King said.

US troops completed a full withdrawal from Iraq this month after nearly nine years of war.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 16:10


comments powered by Disqus