BAGHDAD — Iraq is experiencing a resurgence in the abductions of foreigners, something that had tapered off in recent years. Three new incidents include the kidnappings of 18 Turkish workers in September, 26 Qatari hunters in December and three US citizens in January.
Following the US occupation of Iraq in April 2003, Iraq became a ripe environment for the kidnapping of Arab and foreign diplomats, as well as foreign laborers. In 2004, Egyptian and Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by unidentified militants and the Islamic Army in Iraq, respectively. Yet negotiations with the abducting groups led to their release. The same year saw the kidnapping of foreign workers whose companies were forced to leave Iraq because they received constant threats; one example is Turkish goods transfer company Atahan, which closed its doors after one of its workers was kidnapped.