September 07, 2005

American Hostage Roy Hallums Rescued in Iraq! (UPDATED)

UPDATE: This post to be updated throughout the day.

Update 13:19: Members of his extended family have now confirmed to me, personally, that Roy has been freed. They are elated. Family members are en route to a reunion with Roy as we speak. Thank you for your prayers and thanks to the Coalition Forces for rescuing Roy.

Many of Roy's family and friends, though, know only as much as they are being told in the media. If you have any tips about information that we are not covering, please e-mail me at mypetjawat-at-gmail-dot-com (remove 'at' and 'dot' and replace).

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Roy Hallums was abducted on Nov. 1st along with several other foreign contractors. The U.S. state department refused to comment on whether there was an American hostage in Iraq. On Nov. 30th, The Jawa Report reported that an American hostage was being held in Iraq. On Dec. 2nd, Roy's daughter Carrie and his ex-wife Susan contacted The Jawa Report confirming that Roy was taken hostage in Iraq and clarifying his name.

Since that time we have run dozens of stories on Roy and the other forgotten hostages in Iraq. We have also tried to raise funds for the Free Roy Foundation. I have personally been in contact with the Hallums family since our initial story ran. In the last few months I have feared that Roy was dead, but every so often I would get an e-mail from Susan reminding me to keep Roy in my prayers. Her faith, and the faith of Roy's daughters and grandchildren, never waivered.

I have not heard from Susan or Carrie yet, but I expect some word in the near future. While I am not an official spokesperson for the Hallums family, I am sure that Susan and Carrie would express their many thanks for your prayers and support throughout these trying months.

Thank you Jawa Report readers and friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

--Rusty Shackleford

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Cnn: Is reporting that Roy Hallums has been rescued. Details later. This really is good news.

Developing.

Roy Hallums, the U.S. contractor who was kidnapped in November, is rescued in Iraq, ex-wife says. Details soon.

Hat Tip: Filthy.

Also here on FOXNEWS

"I can confirm he's been released," Susan Hallums, 53, told The Associated Press by telephone. "Considering what he's been through, I understand he's in good condition."
UPDATE from Rusty: Today is one of the happiest days of my life. I'm literally crying.

Update 11:56: NYTimes, hat tip Lawhawk. It looks like Roy was freed thanks to a tip from a detainee. Guantanamo? Probably not, but Abu Ghraib is a distinct possibility:

Coalition forces acting on a tip from an Iraqi detainee Wednesday rescued American hostage Roy Hallums from an isolated farm house south of Baghdad, a military statement said. An Iraqi also was rescued....

Hallums was held in a farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad, the statement said, adding that rescuers were tipped to his whereabouts by an unidentified Iraqi detainee.

''I want to thank all of those who were involved in my rescue -- to those who continuously tracked my captors and location, and to those who physically brought me freedom today,'' Hallums said in the military statement.

''To all of you, I will be forever grateful. Both of us are in good health and look forward to returning to our respective families. Thank you to all who kept me and my family in their thoughts and prayers.''

This contradicts earlier reports that Roy Hallums was being held near Fallujah, but makes much more sense.

Related:
-The Free Roy Website, run by Roy's daughter Carrie
-Jawa Report Breaks Roy Hallums Story, Hallums family begins correspondence
-Terrorist release Roy Hallums hostage video.
-The Damned of the West Part I: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part II: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums
-The Damned of the West Part III: Interview with the family of Roy Hallums

UPDATE II: More from CNN.

CNN:

An American contractor who had been been held hostage in Iraq since November has been rescued from captivity, his ex-wife said Wednesday.

Roy Hallums called from Baghdad on Wednesday, Susan Hallums told CNN.

A Web site devoted to the hostage said "Roy IS FREE!!!!!! 9/7/05." The U.S. military confirmed Hallums was rescued.

"He said that he was well, and he was heading home soon," the ex-wife said.

Speaking by phone from her home in California, she told CNN he said he had been "tied and bound" outside Falluja, a city in the western province of Anbar, in a farmhouse and cannot walk well.

Otherwise, he said he is doing OK, she told CNN.

Susan Hallums said Roy Hallums first called his daughter Amanda in Memphis, Tennessee, and told her, "I was rescued. I love you. I am sorry I'm a little late for Thanksgiving."

12:49 Update: More from Hallums family. Guardian:
Former hostage Roy Hallums' ex-wife said she told him ``our prayers were answered'' after he called from Iraq with news that he had been rescued by the U.S. military 10 months after he was kidnapped.

``I was just telling him about what was going on,'' Susan Hallums told CNN. ``He didn't know about New Orleans. ... He was very sorry for all the people there.''...

``It was just so wonderful to hear his voice,'' Mrs. Hallums told CNN. ``My little granddaughter that's 8-years-old, she talked to him and told him she had a celebration in her head.''

She said the family was hoping he'll be home this weekend.

``Thank God that our prayers were answered and that God saw him through this ordeal, and he's going to be coming back and he said he didn't want to be anywhere else, he wanted just to stay home,'' she told CNN.

Update 12:58: This one via Bart Sullivan at The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who was kind enough to e-mail me:
Hallums' daughter, Amanda Hallums, 24, of Cordova said Wednesday morning that she couldn't talk to a reporter because she was awaiting the imminent arrival of an FBI team at her home. Amanda Hallums has consistently said she believed her father was alive and earlier this year arranged for Arabic-language fliers to be distributed in Iraq promising a $40,000 reward for his release [images of the flyer at bottom of this post].

Roy Hallums's former wife, Susan, and daughter Carrie organized a prayer vigil coinciding with Hallums's birthday on the beach in Southern California in June and have been operating a web site seeking his release.

UPDATE 15:03: More family reaction. Sadly, it looks like the kidnappers got away. AP:
When former hostage Roy Hallums called his daughter early Wednesday from Iraq with news of his rescue, he apologized for causing her so much grief and pain.

"He apologized to me for putting me through any hardship," his eldest daughter, Carrie Anne Cooper, 29, said in a telephone interview from her Westminster home. "He got to say he was sorry, and I got to say I loved him. We got to say things we never thought we would be able to say."

Coalition troops rescued Hallums Wednesday in an isolated farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad, according to the U.S. military. He told his family the kidnappers escaped without a gunbattle.

Hallums had been bound and gagged for much of his time in captivity, but doctors gave him a "clean bill of health" after the rescue, Cooper said. He planned to return to the United States within days.

"I've been waiting for this day, hoping for this day for a long time," Cooper said.

Still developing.......

By Howie at 10:50 AM | Comments |