Incident Summary:

04/11/2004: In Baghdad, Iraq, three Czech journalists were kidnapped by unidentified men, covering their faces with keffieh headscarves and carrying Kalashnikov rifles, who stopped their taxi, forced theminto a car and brought them to an unnamed village. There the hostages were interrogated about their nationality and whether they were with a Coalition. After the 90-minute questioning the hostages were brought to a shack in the middle of the desert and were kept there unharmed for five days, without any ransom demanded. The victims were released on April 16, 2004, with help from the Czech government and Sunni Muslim clerics.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Journalists & Media
Name of Entity Journalists
Specific Description Michal Kubal
Nationality of Target Czech Republic
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 6
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
No weapons were used on the hostages; the automatic weapons were Kalashnikov rifles, which were only used to scare or persuade the journalists.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The other journalists taken hostage were Petr Klima and Vit Pohanka.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Three Czech hostages in Iraq freed and in good health," Agence France Presse, April 16, 2004.
"Czech journalists reported kidnapped in Iraq," CT1 Television, April 12, 2004
Eric Johnson, "Iraqi kidnappers release 3 Czech journalistsEds: Journalists describe ordeal," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 16, 2004.