US Hostage Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Politics | June 18, 2004, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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US Hostage Beheaded in Saudi Arabia Al Qaeda militants have beheaded an American engineer they had been holding hostage since last week, Al Arabiya television said. Photo by WN

An al-Qaeda group reported that it killed US hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr., posting an Internet message that showed photographs of a beheaded body.

The statement, along with three still photos, was posted on a Web site where the group frequently makes announcements. It appeared around the time that a 72-hour deadline set by the kidnappers ended.

Less than an hour after the announcement, an Arab satellite television network said Johnson's body had been found.

Johnson, who worked on Apache helicopter systems for Lockheed Martin, was kidnapped last weekend by militants who threatened to kill him by today if the kingdom did not release its al-Qaida prisoners.

Saudi security forces launched an all-out search, going door-to-door in some Riyadh neighborhoods, as Johnson's wife went on Al-Arabiya today pleading for his release.
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