A coalition spokesman in Baghdad confirmed that a Marine has been missing in Iraq since June 21, but stopped short of saying he might be a hostage.
The Pentagon and the coalition spokesman identified the missing Marine as Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, but the Pentagon said it could not confirm that he was the man shown in the video.
The videotape showed a man dressed in military fatigues wearing a blindfold. A person standing off-camera held a sword above the man’s head. Al-Jazeera also showed what it said were Hassoun’s identification papers.
A Pentagon official told CNN that Hassoun speaks Arabic. A coalition spokesman in Baghdad said Hassoun was of Lebanese descent, and the Pentagon official said he has relatives in Lebanon, possibly even a wife.
A speaker on the tape said the man was lured from his base and captured. Al-Jazeera said the group threatened to kill the man unless U.S. military authorities release Iraqi prisoners.