April 13, 2015

Let's Not Forget Jeffrey Ake

LaPorte IN hasn't.

Jeffrey's Ake's kidnapping and disappearance in Iraq 10 years ago was marked at the time by a yellow ribbon wrapped around the tree at the Ake
We blogged this story, hoping for a homecoming. Praying for a homecoming. Ten years later so many homecomings never came.

No Terror.

By Howie at 08:26 PM | Comments |

April 09, 2010

Fifth Anniversary of Jeffrey Ake’s Abduction by Iraqi Terrorists

howieJeffreyakehostagesmall.jpgOn April 11, 2005, Jeffrey Ake of LaPorte, Indiana was abducted by terrorists while working on a private reconstruction project in Iraq. At this time there is no information about Mr. Ake’s whereabouts or status. After five years his wife and four children have resigned themselves to the fact that their husband and father will probably never return. Liliana Ake, Mr. Ake’s wife said, “We have waited hopefully for five years, but sadly there has been no word about Jeff. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support, prayers and help from our family, friends and many strangers during the past five years. We appreciate all the efforts that the different branches of the United States government have made in searching for Jeff. We hope that the sacrifices that Jeff and so
many others have made to bring stability, normalcy and freedom to Iraq will continue to benefit the Iraqi people. We ask everyone to join us in a prayer for peace on April 11th and to remember that we are all created in God’s image. May God bless all those who have been so generous to us throughout this ordeal.”

The Friends of Jeff, a group of Mr. Ake’s friends from Downers Grove North High
School, have come together to provide support for Liliana Ake and the children. A website, www.jeffake.com has been established to provide an easy way for people to donate funds to help Jeff’s family. “When people hear about Jeff and Lilly’s story, they always ask if there is anything they can do to help. We have established the Jeff Ake Family Trust to continue to provide financial support for Lilly and the children,” remarked David Dlesk, one of the Friends of Jeff. “It has been wonderful to see the generous response of so many people. We encourage everyone to reach out and help someone who may be having difficulties as a result of the turmoil in Iraq and Afghanistan, whether it is the family of a hostage, a member of the military or one of the many civilians who is helping to rebuild these countries.”

Jawa Report Jeffrey Ake Archive.

Press release continues below the fold.

In April of 2005, Mr. Ake was in Iraq installing a bottled water line manufactured by his company, Equipment Express. He was abducted directly from the plant where he was working. On a video released shortly after his abduction, Mr. Ake was shown being held by armed gunmen. His abductors contacted the family shortly after he was taken, but there have been no further communications. Due to Mr. Ake’s prolonged absence, the company, which had been the family’s sole source of income and benefits, was not able to continue.

Press Release
April 9, 2010
LaPorte, Indiana

By Howie at 09:57 AM | Comments |

October 18, 2009

Ake Family Moves On

The terrorists who murdered Jeffrey Ake might have taken his life, but they did not break the will of his family.

Via North West Indiana Times: LAPORTE | The oldest daughter of Jeffrey Ake is in college and the youngest of her three siblings, now 7, probably is without much recollection of his father.

It's been more than four and a half years since Ake was abducted by terrorists in Iraq while working on a water treatment plant in Baghdad.

And, according to his father, James Ake, the family has moved on under the firm belief that Jeff no longer is alive.

"As the days go by, you know or at least you think you do. You just finally give up," said James Ake, now 75.

"You have to move on," he said.

I first started following this story hoping it would end well. It has, maybe not the ending we'd all hoped for.

I took a particular interest due to the images of Laport. The small mid-western farm town is like my own home.

laporteinddowntown.jpg
Image credit and larger here at epodunk

My kind of place, there were doubts about Mr. Ake would ever return home. But there was never any doubt about the will or endurance of those missing him.

May God bless the Ake family.

In the end, the terrorists failed.

Related background : Jawa Report Jeffrey Ake Archive.

By Howie at 09:04 AM | Comments |

April 13, 2009

Over the Weekend

The 11th was the fourth anniversary of the kidnapping of Jeffrey Ake in Iraq. He remains unaccounted for to this day.

More here at Jeff Ake.com.

Our thoughts go out to Jeff's family and friends.

By Howie at 09:58 AM | Comments |

April 11, 2008

Jeffrey Ake Missing Three Years Today

howieJeffreyakehostagesmall.jpgPress release Via the Jeff Ake website jeffake.com

Jeffrey Ake of LaPorte, Indiana was abducted by terrorists while working on a private reconstruction project in Iraq on April 11th 2005. Mr. Ake has been held longer than any other U.S. citizen in Iraq. At this time there is no information about his whereabouts or status. After three years his wife and four children still remain hopeful that he will return home soon. Liliana Ake, Mr. Ake's wife said, "We continue to pray for Jeff's safe return, as well as the safe return of all other hostages. I once again ask anyone who may have information about Jeff to please contact the local authorities."

The Friends of Jeff, a group of Mr. Ake's friends from Downers Grove North High School, have come together to provide support for Liliana Ake and the children. A website, www.jeffake.com has been established to provide information and an avenue for people to donate funds to help the family through this difficult time. Due to Mr. Ake's prolonged absence, the company, which had been the family's sole source of income and benefits, was not able to continue. "When people hear about Jeff and Lilly's story, they always ask if there is anything they can do to help. We have established the Jeff Ake Family Trust to provide financial support for Lilly and the children, so people can help the family through this tragic situation," remarked David Dlesk, one of the Friends of Jeff. "It has been wonderful to see the generous response of so many people. We encourage everyone to reach out and help someone who may be having difficulties as a result of the turmoil in Iraq, whether it is the family of a hostage, a member of the military or the people of Iraq. No matter what your political position may be on the war, we all need to take responsibility to help improve the situations of those who are suffering from the effects of terrorism." Liliana Ake said ''We appreciate all the loving support we have received during the past three years from many family and friends and many people we have never met.''

In April of 2005, Mr. Ake was in Iraq installing a bottled water line that his company, Equipment Express, had manufactured. He was abducted directly from the plant where he was working. On a video released shortly after his abduction, Mr. Ake was shown being held by armed gunmen. His abductors contacted the family shortly after he was taken, but there have been no further communications.

More here at jeffake.com and the Jawa Report Jeff Ake Archive.

In the time that we have been covering the Jeff Ake story, it is good to see how much everyone has participated in trying to help Jeff's family. I can't describe how it feels to know that in some small way we have helped a little. Even if it's only forwarding a little crazy blog money or a blog post to bring attention to this story. Letting Jeff's family know we remember Jeff and we care makes blogging all worth it.

We pray that Jeff is found and returned to his family and that justice comes the terrorist who kidnapped him. We pray for God to comfort his family and watch over them.

Not much else to say on this sad anniversary.

Hat Tip: Dave.

By Howie at 08:39 AM | Comments |

February 19, 2008

Fundraiser This Saturday for Hostage Family (updated)

howieJeffreyakehostagesmall.jpg

Via My suburban Life: Downers Grove, IL -

When Jeffrey Ake was kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq three years ago, his friends from Downers Grove North High School rallied to provide temporary support to his family.

David Dlesk, who now lives in Boston, made weekly trips to try to maintain Ake’s business. But as time passed and Ake did not return, the business had to be sold along with the family’s home. He left behind a wife, Lilly, and four children ages 5 through 18....

...“He was probably one of the most friendly, warm, compassionate people I’ve known in my life,” said Downers Grove resident Pat Carlson and Downers North aluma. “When this happened it’s very shocking and everybody is kind of like what can you do? We just started supporting Lilly and the kids, sending money.”

Now his friends are working to try to raise new funds with a party to celebrate Jeffery Ake’s 50th birthday Saturday, Feb. 23, at Orchard Brook Clubhouse in Downers Grove. While the group scattered across the country after graduation, they have been coming together for weekly conference calls to help plan what they hope will raise enough money to help Lilly move toward sustaining her family without the help of her husband or access to his life insurance or social security.

More here and here.

If you are in the Chicago area please make plans to stop in and Support Lilly. Here is the contact info.

Ake family fundraiser
WHAT Jeffrey Ake Family Fundraiser with music by Outpatience, drinks and snacks
WHEN 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Feb. 23
WHERE Orchard Brook Clubhouse, 1089 35th St., Downers Grove
COST $50 suggested donation
TO RSVP E-mail ddlesk@comcast.net
Jawa Report Jeffrey Ake Archive.

Update: If you can't make the party, you can now donate online here at the new Jeffrey Ake website. Or by mail here.

By Mail
Check payable to
"Jeff Ake Family Trust" Send to:
The Jeff Ake Family Trust
c/o James Schelli, Jr.
Webster & Schelli, A Prof. Corp.
1730 Park Street, Suite 220
Naperville, IL 60563

By Howie at 11:28 AM | Comments |

September 28, 2007

Jeffrey Ake--Still Missing in Iraq

After 2.5 years as a civilian hostage in Iraq, the friends and family of Jeffrey Ake in LaPorte, Indiana have not forgotten him. Neither have we. Neither should you.

Jeffrey Ake's church has a fund to help his wife Liliana deal with the situation. Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to.

LaPorte Missionary Church

LaPorte Missionary Church
Attn: Carl Galloway
104 E. 18th St., LaPorte, IN 46350

Or use the paypal button below


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By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:41 AM | Comments |

April 11, 2007

Jeffrey Ake Missing Two Years

howieJeffreyakehostagesmall.jpgIt was one year ago today that Liliana Ake went public with her story on CNN. at that time no one had heard any word from Jeff’s kidnappers in 11 months. Sadly, there is still no word of what happened to him.

We have been following the story from the beginning. I learned many things about him and his family. Jeff owned a company called Equipment Express specialized in bringing safe drinking water to parts of the world where it was needed. His first effort to bring safe bottle water to Iraq in November 2003 was a success. One of his friends has taken Jeff’s methods home to Nigeria.

On Jeff’s second trip to Iraq in April 2005, he was taken hostage. His kidnappers released a couple videos of Jeff. They even called Liliana’s home, but the calls stopped and Jeff’s fate is unknown as of this time.

Being from a small mid-western town, the images of La Porte reminded me so much of my home that I felt a kinship with Mr. Ake and the people of La Porte. It was just like so many of the small friendly towns that dot the mid-west.

We have been hoping that Jeff’s case would turn out similar to Roy Hallums and a reunion would be swift in coming. But the last year has not yielded his release or any new information.

Jeff’s company was liquidated this year and a fund was started to help Liliana and her four children to keep the Ake family’s home. The fund raising so far has been successful despite small number of outlets (about nine) that ran the story. Donations are still being accepted. More information on how and where to make donations can be found below the fold in this post.

We pray for Jeff’s safe and unconditional release As Rusty said in one of his posts, “No political cause can ever justify the taking of civilians hostage. It is a form of barbarity with no excuse.”

Here is a list of hostages still missing and held by terrorists via Vicki at Not Ready for my Burqua. There are many more missing, especially in Iraq, who's storys are unknown.

Eric Damfreville, Salma, and 3 Afghan aid workers
Alan Johnston
Hannelore Marianne Krause and her son Sinan al-Tornachi
8 Ethiopians kidnapped with the Embassy workers
4 South African contractors kidnapped in Baghdad
An American contractor kidnapped in Basra
Jonathan Cote
Paul Reuben
Bert Nussbaumer
John Young
Josh Munns
Dean Sadek
Aban Elias
Jeffrey Ake
Ahmed Qusai al-Taayie --- The missing U.S. soldier in Baghdad
Ron Arad
Gilad Shalit
Ehud Goldwasser
Eldad Regev
Update: More here at the Indy Star.

Donations for the Ake family can be sent via Lilianna’s pastor at this address.

LaPorte Missionary Church
LaPorte Missionary Church
Attn: Carl Galloway
104 E. 18th St., LaPorte, IN 46350
Or if you prefer, I can forward small donations via the Jeff Ake Amazon Pay-page on this post.

We have much more here at our Jeffrey Ake Archive.

A bit more on the Jeff Ake story here and here and here.

By Howie at 01:01 AM | Comments |

February 17, 2007

College Frat Kids Raise Money For Hostage Jeff Ake’s Family(updated)

bilde.jpgIn fact they helped raise money for the American hostage in Iraq's family by spending two nights out in the cold. And it has been quite cold.

Via the Telegram: WORCESTER— It’s been a couple of cold nights in the city. The snow, sleet and rain have fallen and the winds have howled. And no one knows that better than the fraternity brothers of Alpha Chi Rho who spent the last two nights camped out on the quad of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute campus….

… On Wednesday afternoon, the brothers pitched a tent and began their planned 45-hour mission to raise money to aid in the search for Mr. Ake. It took weeks to plan the campout and gain approval from the college administration, because of safety concerns. Not once did the frat members think the biggest snowstorm and some of the coldest temperatures and fastest winds of the season would hit the area on their first night out.

Each of the 42 members of Alpha Chi Rho signed up for three-hour shifts in groups of 10. Last night, during one of Mr. Tracy’s shifts, a tent pole broke in the high winds, but the brothers stayed out there and continued with their mission.

“He’s been held hostage for over a year,” said Mr. Tracy. “There is no reason we can’t camp out for two nights. We just feel better going out there instead of sitting inside at a table asking for money.”

So far the fraternity has raised more than $200, which will go directly to the family of Mr. Ake. “That’s pretty good for a bunch of poor college students.”

Good job kids. We have posted on the fund for Jeffrey Ake’s family here. The address for donations is at the post and I’ve received a couple donations via Amazon. The latest donation via my blog was five bucks, I’ll add a bit to it and send it out tomorrow when I pay bills. Thanks to everyone who sent donations through the blog and also directly to Mrs. Ake’s church.
LaPorte Missionary Church

LaPorte Missionary Church
Attn: Carl Galloway
104 E. 18th St., LaPorte, IN 46350

I have no idea how much money we’ve raised but I will ask Mrs. Ake’s Pastor to let us know how things are going when I forward donations this week.

The Jawa Report's Jeffrey Ake Archive.

Update: Great news. I just finished speakng with Mr. Galloway, Mrs. Ake's pastor. He says the response has been good. I cannot give specific amount but it is very significant.

Mr. Galloway says that the goal is to get Mrs. Ake (or Lily as he calls her) through the year. As soon as that goal is met they will ask that people stop sending donations. He also says that she would be upset if anyone hurt themselves trying to help her. If you can send a few bucks please do so, but don't hurt yourself.

He also says the US military has a good idea who took Mr. Ake and is seeking to find them.

We pray that Mr. Ake is found and those who took him face justice.

There has been a bit of confusion in this process. If you specify who your donation is for then the IRS will not allow it to be tax deductible. If your check is written just to the church they can send you a reciept and it will be tax deductible.

Mr. Galloway is contacting donors to see if the tax deduction is of concern. If so he will return those donation and you can resend them just in the Churche's name. Mr. Galloway is concerned that some may have been uspet by this.

My apologies, I was unaware of that. So you can blame Howie. I wanted to be sure the Church knew who the donations were for. So if you are expecting to deduct your donations please just send then to the church. The church has been helping her out from their general fund, so to specify her in the donation is not required.

They are getting very close to having enough but are not quite there yet. He says the first week there were a lot of donations but they have slacked off a little. They did recieve one yesterday and I recieved a couple more too.

Together we are making a difference, that is what makes blogging worthwhile. Myself, I'm feeling pretty giddy at the moment.

If you need to contact Mr. Galloway, the church has a website here.

By Howie at 10:38 AM | Comments |

January 19, 2007

Jeffrey Ake Fund(bumped)

Lilana Ake’s church has started a fund to try and help her avoid having to sell their home. Via John Byrne at the Post Tribune:

Carl Galloway, pastor of LaPorte Missionary Church, said the congregation decided to ramp up its fund-raising efforts after learning Ake had put her home on the market.

Ake's husband, Jeffrey, has been missing in Iraq since April 2005, when he was abducted by gunmen near Baghdad.

"We have been supporting Lilly since Jeff was kidnapped," Galloway said. "It's a strange situation, because Lilly can't draw any of Jeff's benefits since nobody knows what has happened to him."

Ake, the mother of four young children, recently started bankruptcy proceedings for Equipment Express, the Rolling Prairie water bottling company Jeffrey Ake founded and ran until he was kidnapped.

She also put her LaPorte home on the market, saying she could not afford to stay there.

Ake recently earned her Realtor's license and got a job, Galloway said.

"The objective isn't to get her rich," Galloway said. "The goal is to get Lilly through the next few months, get her on her feet, until some money starts coming in."

Below I have the address where you can send donations. Further contact information at the Post Tribune.

Tax-deductible contributions can be sent to.

LaPorte Missionary Church :Jeffrey Ake Fund

LaPorte Missionary Church
Attn: Carl Galloway
104 E. 18th St., LaPorte, IN 46350

Please spread the information around your blog, church bulletins, Mosques, Synagogues, gas stations and favorite greasy spoons. Please do what you can. No matter how small your donation is they all add up.

Our Jeffrey Ake Archive here.

Update: Bumped, originally posted 01/13/07. Just to remind myself to send my paltry sum this week. Have you send your paltry sum yet? My paltry sum added to your paltry sum an make a differnce. I was able to get the word to three churches too, hopefully that will help. Keep your findgers crossed.

I’ve added an amazon Pay Box dedicated to accepting online donations to help Lilana below the fold. It’s not tax-deductible but if you want to remain anonymous or send small amounts online it's there.


Amazon Honor System

Click Here to Pay
Learn More
It’s my first time trying to raise money like this, so we’ll see how it goes.

As I’ve followed this story I’ve seen some pictures of downtown Laporte. To me, it looks very familiar. So that’s part of the reason that Jeff’s story interests me so much.

By Howie at 11:20 AM | |

January 08, 2007

Help a Hostage's Wife

If any one knows Liliana Ake, the wife of hostage Jeffrey Ake, we know more than a few people who would be willing to help her out. With her husband being held hostage in Iraq, the family business is failing. Liliana has been forced to declare bankruptcy, unable to pay the mortgage let alone the $1 million dollar ransom demanded by the pieces of filth in Iraq.

Again, if you know Liliana or know of a fund already set up on her behalf, please let us know.

Post Tribune:

Facing mounting debt and with no news of her husband, Liliana Ake has started bankruptcy proceedings for Equipment Express, the Rolling Prairie water bottling company Jeffrey Ake founded and ran until he was abducted in Iraq in April 2005.

With no new information about her husband's whereabouts, Liliana Ake also has again put the lakeside home she shares with the couple's four children on the market.

"I can't afford (the house)," Ake said, crossing her arms and walking down the steep driveway with Pine Lake at her back. "I have young children and a sick mother to take care of. I have some tough decisions to make."

Ake's children careened across the front lawn, riding bikes and wagons as she insisted she remains optimistic they will be reunited with her husband, who she last saw flanked by gunmen on a video image broadcast around the world.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 10:06 AM | Comments |

June 07, 2006

Liliana Ake Keeping Hope Alive

Liliana is featured in an article today today’s Washington Post. The small town of La Porte Indiana waits for word on his fate. Jeff has been missing longer than any hostage ever to return alive. Still her hope and prayers for Jeff’s safe return is touching. The town, his wife and children await some word, any word, of his fate while praying for his safe return. Being from a small town myself, trust me the whole town is his family.

Washington Post :Jeffrey J. Ake is 48 now, if he is alive. He is also a husband and son and the father of four children who miss him terribly. He is a storyteller, a Rotarian and a small-business owner who thrived in distant capitals.

He traveled to Iraq, tools in hand, on a private contract to repair machines at a water-bottling plant. Early one morning in April 2005, the telephone rang at a lakeside rambler in La Porte, 80 miles east of Chicago. An Iraqi man, talking fast in poor English, told Liliana Ake, "We have your husband."

Fourteen months later, nothing is known about his whereabouts, while his family waits and neighbors wonder what to expect after so much silence. No American has been held captive longer in Iraq and come out alive….

…"Nothing at all. For over a year, we haven't heard anything," Liliana Ake explained in her first newspaper interview since her husband's abduction. "We pray every night. My little boy says, 'Bad people in Iraq have my dad. It's not fair.' "

She believes he is alive, perhaps because she must. At the same time, she is bothered by the sense in LaPorte, where people have been supporting her and rooting for her husband, that Jeff is becoming mostly a memory. Signs like the one at the KarMel are fewer. It is as though Jeff Ake is slipping away….

…"Unfortunately, there are not many more cards coming," she said. "Time goes by."

Jeffrey Ake is specialist in water systems. And La Porte Indiana is hardly the center of a Zionist, Imperialist conspiracy. The abduction of Jeffrey Ake shows the callous indifference of the enemies if Iraq who routinely kidnap and murder innocent non-combatants in violation of all rules of warfare. These are the true war criminals! When our men loose their temper or commit a war crime, we bring them to justice. For the terrorist war criminals we fight there this is standard operating procedure.

Jeffrey Ake Archive.

Jawa Report Hostage Archive.

Howie's other Related Post.

Because some things just need blogged whether you want to or not. I’ll post an explanation for those of you who care at the Moisture Farm later. No the job is still open.

By Howie at 08:22 AM | Comments |

April 11, 2006

Wife of American Hostage Jeffrey Ake Speaks Out

The wife of American hostage Jeffrey Ake has spoken out for the first time since her husband was taken hostage in Iraq a year ago today. Jeffrey Ake is one of two Americans still being held hostage in Iraq. Dean Sadek, also held hostage, was kidnapped in November 2004.

We applaud Liliana Ake for breaking her silence. It is difficult to go against the advice of the U.S. State Department and private 'experts' working for insurance companies who have little knowledge about how the hostage situation in Iraq is different than in other areas of the world.

Many of Jeffrey Ake's friends and family have dropped comments or e-mails to me thanking The Jawa Report for keeping Jeffrey's memory alive. Now that Liliana has given us the green light, let us never let a day pass without mentioning Jeffrey Ake publicly.

As former hostage Terry Anderson once said, "The tragic thing is that the torment is as much from the outside by countries and people indifferent to their fate as on the inside by their captors."

We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Jeffrey Ake and Dean Sadek. No politcal cause can ever justify the taking of civilians hostage. It is a form of barbarity with no excuse.

We can only hope that the media, Muslims, and Leftist organizations will begin to pay attention to the plight of hostages who may not be one of their political allies.

For more, visit the Jeffrey Ake hostage archive here. Visit our extensive hostage archives here. And please, keep Jeff and his family in your prayers.

CNN which also features video:

"Please take the next step to release my husband and return his children's lives to normal," said Liliana Ake during an interview from her home in LaPorte, Indiana....

"He was in Iraq making certain that the Iraqi people have fresh, good water to drink," she said....

Jeffrey Ake was last seen two days later when Arabic-language satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera broadcast a video from insurgents that showed terrorists holding Ake at gunpoint.

There have been no public claims of responsibility for the kidnapping.

Over the last year, Liliana Ake, other family members, and business associates shunned attention from the news media out of fear for Ake's safety.

"Right now it's been the whole year and I think it's time," his wife said.

She said she was spurred to speak out by the powerful media campaign that may have helped free kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll....

"I never actually doubted that Jeff is alive and I never doubted that Jill Carroll will be released and I am celebrating her release," Liliana Ake said. "I'm very happy for her."

Liliana Ake's statement for her husband's abductors said, "One year ago, Jeff Ake, my husband and father of four, was taken hostage, where he remains today. He was in Iraq making certain that the Iraqi people have fresh, good water to drink.

"To the individuals who are holding my husband, Jeff: You have had one year to know him. For that reason, Jeff's family and all our friends continue to believe Jeff is still alive. And you are responsible for his safety.

"When you kidnapped Jeff, you contacted me at my residence and we discussed matters of importance to us both. My telephone number remains the same and my willingness to continue this dialogue remains as strong as it was before.

"In order to resolve this matter and secure Jeff's release, you must call me again. Jeff should be able to give you the number. Please take the next step to release my husband and return his children's lives to normal." ...

During the interview she elaborated on the terrifying ordeal.

After Ake was whisked away, she said she heard from the kidnappers, who said "they were holding him and they would destroy him if I don't cooperate with them."

She said they called her at her home number, which came as quite a shock. She was able to verify that they had her husband because she asked the caller several questions and she received answers that only her husband would know.

She said the callers wanted money, but also made vague mention of political demands, including a reference to American troops.

However, she said she never heard from the callers again after May 1. ...

"I ask my family and friends to demonstrate and speak directly to the American government to open discussions with the Iraqi national resistance," Jeffrey Ake said on the video.

Liliana Ake said, "When I looked at that picture, I was shocked and I prayed that Jeff would be safely released."

During the time since the abduction, she said, it has been "a very, very hard year."

"I haven't slept all year. I wake up in the middle of the night at 1 and I cannot sleep."

"The children are suffering" and are afraid, she said, noting that birthdays have come and gone and Christmas was "never the same."

Her decision to go public has been a tough one.

She didn't make any moves because she was "afraid for Jeff's life. I did not know whether my request or plea would help him or harm him." ...

Liliana Ake said she agreed that the Carroll's public strategy worked and "that's why I decided to go public as well." ....

Liliana Ake said her husband has been all over the world in his work, traveling to more than 60 countries, including Egypt, Kuwait and Iraq. She said he was making his second visit to Iraq when he was kidnapped.

For Iraq, the company built a machine that fills containers of cooking oil and a system to provide water bottling services.

"He embraced every culture," Liliana Ake said.

Asked what she would want to say to her husband if he could hear her, she said "I would like to tell him I love him and I want him back."

She thanked everybody across the country who has prayed for her and sent encouraging letters.

"Please keep on praying for us."

RELATED:

American Kidnapped in Iraq
Hostage Video: American Jeffrey Ake urges US to Leave Iraq
Hostage Jeffrey Ake Safe in Iraq?
Remembering the Forgotten American Hostages: Jeffrey Ake
American Hostage Jeffrey Ake Still Missing (Muslim Clerics, Western Leftists Still Silent)

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:03 PM | Comments |

December 24, 2005

American Hostage Jeffrey Ake Still Missing (Muslim Clerics, Western Leftists Still Silent)

American Jeffrey Ake was taken hostage eight months ago. He was in Iraq to help with water purification. You mean you haven't heard of Jeffrey Ake? Apparantly, hostages who are not Leftists merit little media attention, no mass protests, and not a single bit of 'concern' from Muslim clerics. Where is the outrage?

South Bend Tribune (hat tip: George):

With Christmas drawing near, Jeff Ake and his family remain in the thoughts and prayers of many in his hometown LaPorte.

Eight months ago, the 47-year-old Ake, the owner of Equipment Express in Rolling Prairie, was taken hostage in Iraq while working at a water treatment plant near Baghdad....

Still fresh in the minds of many is the image of Ake flanked by gunmen on television screens across the globe.

Gradually, the vast media spotlight cast upon the city has dimmed along with the seemingly never-ending chitchat in the barber shops, taverns and other gathering places.

"After about two months you stopped hearing about it," said Julie Meyers, a hair stylist at Carter's Barber Shop at 711 Jefferson Ave.

Nevertheless, Ake hasn't been forgotten, judging by signs posted around the city offering prayer and encouragement for Ake and his wife, Lilliana, and their four children.

And in his bid to keep public awareness alive, Mayor Leigh Morris continues to call for God's blessing on Ake and his entire family at the start of each city council meeting.

This Christmas, remember to keep the forgotten hostages in Iraq in your prayers.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:13 PM | Comments |

October 10, 2005

Remembering the Forgotten American Hostages: Jeffrey Ake

Jeffrey Ake was in Iraq to help the people of that country secure a safe water supply when, on April 11th of this year, he was taken hostage. Days later a video emerged of Ake. Jeffrey Ake has not been heard from since.

Former hostage Terry Anderson later recounted that realizing that the world was indifferent to the fate of Western hostages was nearly as bad as the torment administered on them daily.

We will not forget the fate of the hostages still held in Iraq. We urge you to keep them in your prayers.

Here is a little about Jeffrey Ake from the Indy Star:

The lack of attention on Jeffrey Ake baffles people here.

On April 11, when Ake was seized by gunmen outside Baghdad, the well-known and longtime LaPorte resident was national news. He was in Iraq doing business as the country rebuilds, helping to build a water bottling plant...

The townsfolk sprang to action the way people do in such a crisis: They tied ribbons around trees in their yards, they spelled out "Pray for Jeff Ake" on the signs at their businesses, they expressed fear and hope to the media that swarmed them, and they organized a candlelight vigil.
And then, suddenly, Ake was not news. The candlelight vigil was canceled. Ake's neighbors suddenly went silent.

Today, with the six-month anniversary of his disappearance coming Tuesday, Ake's whereabouts remain unknown. The equally nagging question beyond what happened to him is why folks in LaPorte are mum about it.
As it turns out, they're just trying to help.

"His wife asked us to have no comment, so that's what we're doing," said Mel Turner, who lives next door to the Ake family.

Liliana Ake asked everyone to keep quiet because the FBI, the agency investigating Ake's disappearance, recommended it.

Of course, the FBI's recommendation is inappropriate in Ake's case. If Ake is to be freed, it will not be because a ransom will be paid. So, why should it matter what his hostage takers ask?

Ake's only hope is that Coalition forces are tipped to his whereabouts and is freed, as Roy Hallums recently was. After six-months it should be clear that silence is not a winning strategy. Keeping Jeffrey Ake's name in the forefront of the news so that forces on the ground will keep an eye out for him, and so that local Iraqis know who they are looking for.

In the meantime, we pray for his speedy release.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 08:16 AM | Comments |

June 09, 2005

Hostage Jeffrey Ake Safe in Iraq?

The Jawa Report is suddenty getting a number of hits for people looking for news about American hostage in Iraq, Jeffrey Ake. Our earlier reports about Jeffrey Ake are here (news of the abduction along with silence from the State Department) and here (video released). As with the other hostages being held in Iraq, such as Roy Hallums, we pray that Mr. Ake is alright and that his captors meet a swift and gruesome end at the hands of a very pissed off Marine.

A few days ago a rumor began to circulate that Jeffrey Ake had been released and was in Iraq. Perhaps similar rumors are circulating today? Let's hope this time the rumor turns out to be true. Any one with news about the status of Jeffrey Ake is urged to e-mail me.

Here is a story that ran a few days ago about Jeffrey Ake from the La Porte County Herald Argus:

Widespread rumors began circulating around town this week that LaPorte businessman Jeffrey Ake is safe in Iraq where he was abducted nearly two months ago.

The Ake family says as far as they know the reports are not true.

“There is no new information that they know of, but they are looking into it,” said a family friend who returned a phone call to the Herald Argus on behalf of the family Wednesday afternoon.

The man, who asked not to be named, said the family wanted the community to know what was going on, “because everyone has been so caring,” since Ake’s disappearance April 11....

The U.S. Embassy would not confirm or deny Wednesday if Ake had been freed by his captors.

“There is no new information I can release,” said State Department Spokesman Edgar Vasquez.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 02:21 PM | Comments |

April 13, 2005

Hostage Video: American Jeffrey Ake urges US to Leave Iraq (UPDATED)

Jeffrey_ake_hostage_al_jazeera.jpg
A video of an American civilian contractor taken hostage in Baghdad on April 10th has been aired by Al Jazeera television. The victim's name is Jeffrey Ake.

Our earlier report on Jeffrey Ake is here. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad now confirms Mr. Ake's identity. As with Roy Hallums, the State Department did not confirm his identity until after a video tape was released.

Links to video will be posted here as soon as they are available.....

Al Jazeera reports:

The tape on Wednesday showed a man sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns towards him.

He was holding what looked like a passport and a photo identification.

Al Jazeera did not release audio of the tape. The network has come under increasing fire for its airing of hostage videos produced as propaganda.

SMH reports:

The hostage, who was shown surrounded by gunmen, called on the US administration to "open a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance" and strive to save his life, Al-Jazeera said.

He also urged US forces to promptly pull out of Iraq.

The demand is standard for these types of videos. However, what is new is the demand for dialogue between the U.S. and insurgents.

Could this be a further sign of the weakening of the insurgency?

Since there was no money demand mentioned, it also is very unlikely that those responsible for this kidnapping are financial opportunists. However, part of the deleted audio may have made a ransom demand.

Further, this is not the M.O. of the usual terrorist suspects. While I cannot say for certain, the video does not appear to show the banners of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's al Qaeda in Iraq, The Army of Ansar al-Sunna, or The Islamic Army of Iraq.

Hat tip to James Joyner who e-mailed me about this while I was in class. He's also all over this one.

Jeffrey_ake_equipment_expressed.jpg
UPDATE 12:09: More information on Jeffrey Ake. According to WISHTV, Ake is from Northern Indiana. He is the President of a Rolling Prairie, IN, based water company, Equipment Express.

According to a local news article dated November 19, 2003, and reprinted at Equipment Express' website:

Equipment Express is again helping with the rebuilding effort in Iraq.

A Western European country that company president Jeff Ake couldn't identify because of contractual reasons hired the Rolling Prairie company to construct an integrated system that will provide water bottles to be sold in Baghdad.

A second system for Iraq will be built in January.
Equipment Express began construction on the system Nov. 3, completed the work Tuesday and will ship it out today. It should arrive in Baghdad around Christmas.

"We're called Equipment Express because we are fast. It's exciting to be part of the rebuilding effort," Ake said.

From another article on their website:
Equipment Express constructed "An integrated system that provided water bottles to be sold in Baghdad ... they have also constructed a machine that fills edible oil into containers to be used by Iraqi residents," according to information on the company Web site.
And one more:
A fast growing Rolling Prairie company will be helping the humanitarian effort in Iraq.

A manufacturer Friday asked Equipment Express, 4744 E. Oak Knoll Rd., if it could construct as quickly as possible a machine that will fill edible oil into containers to be used for the millions of recently liberated Iraqi people....

Not everyone will drop what they're doing to manufacture the machine, but "there's a fair amount of effort being put into it. There will be some overtime."

Much of the Middle East needs the edible oil because it's used in so much of the people's cooking.

"It's extremely important to that culture, to cook almost anything. If they have grain, clean water and oil, they are able to feed themselves."

This isn't the first time Equipment Express handiwork has benefited the Middle East. Water treatment systems that include bottling, rinsing, filling and labeling capacities were built here and are being used in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Once again insurgents capture a man in Iraq attempting to improve the standard of living in that country....

UPDATE 12:45: It appears that Jeffrey Ake was also a nationally recognized export specialist. His name appears frequently as a convention speaker on the subject.

UPDATE 12:50: White House chimes in....KHNL

White House press secretary Scott McClellan describes the situation as very "sensitive," adding that the administration is in touch with the family of the missing contract worker.

But he says U-S policy calls for no negotiations with kidnappers.

What is it a video that is so powerful? Ake has been missing since Sunday, and we have been reporting it since Monday, yet no widespread media coverage.

Another American was just kidnapped in Iraq. His name is Mohammed Monaf. No video, no coverage. It's sad.

Or what about the other American hostages being held? Roy Hallums, Dean Sadek, Tim Bell, and Bill Bradley? Or of the missing Army Spc. Keith Maupin?

Developing........

Others: Mike King, Chad Evans, Secure Liberty, Rooftop Report

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:31 AM | Comments |

April 11, 2005

American Kidnapped in Iraq

An another American has been kidnapped in Iraq. Developing....

UPDATE 4/13: The name of the man is Jeffrey Ake. A video has been aired by al Jazeera. More information about the video here.

The State Department has an official policy of not releasing the names of civilians captured in Iraq. As was the case of Roy Hallums and Mohammed Monaf, we will publish the name of this victim as soon as that information is available.

We pray for the safe return of all the hostages still held in Iraq.

Reuters:

An American contractor has been kidnapped near Baghdad, a U.S. embassyspokesman says, the latest foreigner abducted in the lawless Iraqi capital.

The contractor, who was working on a reconstruction project, was kidnapped in the greater Baghdad area,embassy spokesman Bob Callaghan said on Monday.

"No group has claimed responsibility. We have contacted the Iraqi authorities to try and find him," he said.

Hat tip: Speed of Thought

Others: In the Bullpen, Jeff Quinton, Robert Spencer, ....

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:24 PM | Comments |