Captured U.S. Marine Contacts Family, Embassy

Monday stories appeared that captured U.S. Marine, Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun had been freed. Today he has made contact with his family, and more importantly the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.

WEST JORDAN, Utah (CNN) — Marine Cpl. Wassef Hassoun called his family Wednesday to tell them he is safe and in Lebanon, a source close to his family told CNN.

The source said Hassoun contacted the family in West Jordan, Utah, and Lebanon and told them that he had called the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and asked that he be picked up from an undisclosed location in Lebanon. The source said Hassoun sounded healthy and happy.

The source said the family was awaiting word from the embassy in Beirut to find out if it had custody of Hassoun.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Pentagon or the State Department.Wizbang will be on this story, with pictures as soon as they’re available.

Update: Scott Boone notes that new reports contradict the CNN report. CNN has not revised their story…

Update 2: SlantPoint links to this MSNBC article that has the following new bit of information:

Late Wednesday, FBI agents showed up at the Hassoun family home in West Jordan, Utah. And Pentagon officials tell NBC News that the Navy has now launched a criminal investigation into Hassoun’s disappearance, and the possibility that his kidnapping may be part of an elaborate hoax.

The story also confirms that someone claiming to be Hassoun called family in Lebanon and the U.S. Embassy there, though it leaves the impression that the person may not have been Hassoun.

Update 3: Al Jazeera reports a Filipino civilian was taken hostage in Iraq.

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  1. Scott B July 7, 2004
  2. David Scott Anderson July 7, 2004