From AP, :
BAGHDAD, Iraq — An Indiana man, scared and clutching his passport to his chest, was shown at gunpoint on a videotape aired by Al-Jazeera television Wednesday, two days after he was kidnapped from a water treatment plant near Baghdad. The station said he pleaded for his life and urged U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq.
In LaPorte, Ind., a yellow ribbon was tied around a tree outside Jeffrey Ake’s one-story brick house, and an American flag fluttered on a pole from the home. The U.S. Embassy said the man on the video appeared to be Ake, a contract worker who was kidnapped around noon Monday.
The video came on a day of bloody attacks, as insurgents blew up a fuel tanker in Baghdad, killed 12 policemen in Kirkuk, and drove a car carrying a bomb into a U.S. convoy, killing five Iraqis and wounding four U.S. contract workers on the capital’s infamous airport road….
Al-Qaida in Iraq said in an Internet statement that it carried out Wednesday’s deadly car bombing, which the military said damaged two sport utility vehicles and five civilian cars. The explosion left charred and burning rubble strewn across the highway.
“A member of our martyrdom seekers’ brigade mingled in an American military convoy at the airport road and exploded himself, destroying the infidels,” said the statement, which could not be independently verified.
The car bomb was among four explosions in central Baghdad early Wednesday, the military said. The second was a car bombing that didn’t cause any damage, and the third was a “secondary explosion” nearby, the military said….
The Bush administration also moved Wednesday to freeze the finances of a Jordanian it says has provided financial support to al-Zarqawi. The U.S. government contends that Bilal Mansur al-Hiyari became acquainted with al-Zarqawi in Afghanistan in 1989.
And in Iraq, the U.S. military announced the April 6 arrest of Walid Jassim Muhammad Jurmat, an alleged member of the Saraya Al Jihad group, which has ties to al-Zarqawi. In a statement, the military said he was wanted for his connection to suicide car bombs, weapons and ammunition trafficking, as well as the organization of insurgent supply routes in and out of Ramadi.
Following up on clashes in the remote town of Qaim, on Iraq’s border with Syria, the U.S. military said it had killed some 30 insurgents since Monday. The clashes included three car bombs – one using a fire truck – that tried unsuccessfully to ram into a Marine outpost in the city….
Why is Iraq proving so difficult to pacify? Why, indeed, were our forces not widely welcomed as liberators? The answers have to do with Islam — which means that the State Department, the Administration, and the learned analysts are largely ignoring them.