Ahmed Kousay al-Taie

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Ahmed Kousay Altaie
Born(1965-07-22)22 July 1965
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service2004–2008
RankArmy-USA-OR-06-2015.svg Staff Sergeant (promoted in absentia)
UnitProvincial Reconstruction Team Baghdad
Battles/warsIraq War
Spouse(s)Linda Racey

Ahmed Kousay Altaie (22 July 1965 - 2008) was a United States Army soldier, who was captured in October 2006 in Baghdad and later executed by his captors.

Early life and education[edit]

Altaie was born in Iraq[1][2][3][4] on 22 July 1965, to Kousay and Nawal Altaie. At the age of nine, he emigrated with his family from Iraq to the United Kingdom.[citation needed] He was of mixed Sunni and Shia parentage.[5]


Altaie enlisted in the United States Army Reserve in December 2004. He was mobilized in August 2005 and deployed to Iraq in November 2005. During his tenure in the United States Army, Altaie served as a linguist.[6]

Prisoner of war[edit]

On 23 October 2006, Altaie left his military base in Iraq without authorization or the knowledge of his superiors. It is believed that he was in the Karrada neighborhood in central Baghdad, Iraq to visit the family of his second wife, Israa Abdul-Satar, a student at al-Mustansiriya University. He was captured by armed men and forced into a waiting vehicle outside.

On 2 November 2006, a ransom demand for Altaie was relayed to his uncle Entifadh Qanbar, a former spokesman for the Iraqi National Congress and recently an official in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. Qanbar made contact with an intermediary trusted by the kidnappers. In a secret location in Baghdad, the mediator met with members of the group who showed Qanbar a grainy video on a cell phone screen of a man they claimed was Altaie, beaten up and bloody, and demanded $250,000 from the soldier's family to secure his release.

Qanbar stated that he wouldn't talk about a price until he had seen for himself some proof that Altaie was still breathing. Qanbar suggested they have his nephew describe the inside of his home in Ann Arbor or that the kidnappers photograph the soldier holding a current newspaper by 4 November 2006 at 12:00pm.

The U.S. government said on 11 November 2006 that it was offering a US $50,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Altaie's body.

On 14 February 2007, a proof of life video of Altaie was posted on a militant Shiite website. A previously unknown group called the "Ahel al-Beit Brigades" claimed responsibility for Altaie's abduction. The eight second video showed Altaie reading from a paper but no audio was heard. He appeared thin but in good health. His uncle identified him as the man in the video.[7]

Altaie was the last American serviceman to be accounted for in Iraq. He was captured when he was the rank of Specialist and was promoted to Sergeant, then Staff Sergeant.

On 26 February 2012, U.S. military officers knocked on the door of the family home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with news that Army Staff Sgt. Ahmed Altaie was confirmed dead. The remains of Altaie were turned over as part of an amnesty exchange agreement between the Iraqi government and the militant group Asaib Ahl al-Haq. Altaie's family believes he was killed at the end of 2008.[8][9][10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Altaie's first wife was Linda Racey of Farmington Hills, Michigan.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Most Popular E-mail Newsletter". USA Today. 27 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Shiite extremist group returns remains of last US soldier missing in Iraq". Fox News. 27 February 2012.
  3. ^ https://www.npr.org/2012/02/27/147523337/remains-of-last-missing-us-soldier-return-from-iraq
  4. ^ "Now we know who kidnapped Staff Sgt. Ahmed al-Taie in Iraq in 2006". The Oregonian. 27 February 2012.
  5. ^ Von Zielbauer, Paul (3 November 2006). "Father of Missing U.S. Soldier Says Son Just Made a Mistake in Quest to Find His Calling". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  6. ^ Ryan, John, "Search for Iraq-born soldier still ongoing", Military Times, 27 December 2011.
  7. ^ Arwa Damon; Yousif Bassel; Jomana Karadsheh; Mohammed Tawfeeq (14 February 2007). "Uncle: Abducted U.S. soldier appears in video". CNN. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  8. ^ Allam, Hannah. "U.S. military receives remains of last soldier missing in Iraq – World Wires". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  9. ^ Army IDs remains of last missing U.S. soldier in Iraq
  10. ^ "Michigan burial for last U.S. soldier missing in Iraq". Reuters. 27 February 2012.
  11. ^ Phillips, Michael M., "Last Missing Soldier In Iraq: Family Finally Learns Fate", Wall Street Journal, 27 February 2012, p. 1.
  12. ^ "Hunting for Our MIAs". Time. 27 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-16.

External links[edit]