Indiana businessman held hostage in Iraq

Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Al-Jazeera TV has released video of an American, 47 year old Jeffrey Ake of LaPorte, Indiana, in the custody of three machine-gun wielding masked men.

A US Embassy official said the video did not have an audio track, but Al-Jazeera reports the man is asking that American troops be removed from Iraq so that he may live.

Ake is posed behind a wooden desk holding what appears to be his passport and a photo ID. His family had no comments on the situation, nor did those at Ake’s business. He is the president and founder of Equipment Express of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, a industrial assembly plant for water bottling equipment.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that no negotiations with the kidnappers will take place.

Ake is one of at least 200 foreigners who been kidnapped or have gone missing in the past year in Iraq. At least 30 have been killed.