Special Operations

Rescue of Roy Hallums (2005)

Roy Hallums was an American contractor who was kidnapped in Iraq on November 1, 2004.  He was held in Iraq for 311 days and freed on September 7, 2005.

On November 1, 2004, twenty gunmen stormed the compound where Hallums and his colleagues were working, in the upscale Mansour district of Baghdad. Hallums was taken hostage along with Roberto Tarongoy of the Philippines, Inus Dewari of Nepal, and three Iraqis. Dewari and the Iraqis were released soon after their abduction.

On December 18, American diplomats identified Hallums as the American kidnapped on November 1. His family had pleaded for his release weeks before, however, and Hallums had been identified on several websites. Hallums recounted that the Jawa Report was where his wife Susan first saw his name mentioned in public.

His daughter Carrie Anne Cooper soon set up a website asking for Hallums’ release. His family also appealed for his release on Al Jazeera.

Rescued by US Special Operations Forces after 311 days in captivity.
Rescued by US Special Operations Forces after 311 days in captivity.

A videotape of Hallums was released by insurgents on January 25, 2005. It is unclear when the tape was made. Hallums had a long beard, and was seated with a gun pointed at his head. “I have been arrested by a resistance group in Iraq,” Hallums said. “I am asking for help because my life is in danger, because it has been proved that I work for American forces.”

Hallums did not appeal to American President Bush but did to Libyan president Muammar al-Gaddafi to help earn his release. Gaddafi later called for Hallum’s release.

Roberto Tarongoy was freed on June 23, 2005. Tarongoy said that he thought Hallums was still alive, and said the kidnappers demanded $12 million.

The Rescue

Hallums was freed on September 7, 2005, along with an Iraqi captive, when US Special Forces raided a farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad. The location was apparently given by an Iraqi detainee. When coalition troops arrived, the kidnappers had fled.

Altogether, Roy Hallums had been captive ten months and seven days. He said that he had been bound and gagged for much of the time, but doctors described him as being in “good health”. After his release, he called his daughter and identified himself by saying “This is Dad.” 


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