Status of soldier who disappeared in Iraq is changed
A soldier who has been missing in Iraq since late October officially has been reclassified as “missing-captured,” the Pentagon said late Thursday.
Spc. Ahmed K. Altaie had been listed as “duty status whereabouts unknowns (DUSTWUN)” since he was allegedly kidnapped on Oct. 23 while on his way — on his own — to visit his wife in Baghdad.
Altaie, a 41-year-old who lived in Ann Arbor, Mich., is an Iraqi-American who was working as a military translator for a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the Green Zone when he disappeared, officials said.
Altaie’s status was officially changed on Dec. 11, but officials did not say why it was changed or why the announcement was made Thursday.
“Efforts continue to obtain the successful and safe return of Altaie,” a short Pentagon statement read, in part.
Family members have said they believe the soldier is being held by elements of a Shiite militia.
In a late-November interview with CNN, Altaie’s uncle said he had been working as an intermediary in the effort to free the soldier.
Various reports have said a $250,000 reward has been demanded, but that the family has received no direct sign that Altaie is still alive.
In addition to Altaie, at least four other Americans have gone missing this fall.
Four American contractors with a private security company were abducted when their convoy was attacked.
They also are still missing.