Incident Summary:

04/09/2004: Three Japanese citizens, who were traveling from Baghdad to Amman by taxi, were stopped by members of the Mujahedeen Brigades in the town of Sadalbur, Iraq, just north of Fallujah. The perpetrators detained the Japanese individuals for an hour, then made them get into a van and took them hostage. The kidnappers videotaped the three hostages and threatened them with knives and guns along, threatening to burn them alive unless the Japanese government removed their troops from Iraq. The hostages were released unharmed a week later on April 16, 2004, after the Committee of Muslim Scholars finalized the negotiations.




Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:


Sab' Al Bor

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity Civilians
Specific Description Soichiro Koriyama, Nahoko Takato, Noriaki Imai
Nationality of Target Japan
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 3
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 7
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
The weapons reported were not used to harm the hostages, but only to coerce them into the vehicle and for visual effects in the video when explaining what the militant group wanted.
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 hostages suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but were otherwise unharmed.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Mujahedeen Brigades Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
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
Andrew Gumble, "Release of Japanese Hostages," The Independent, April 16, 2004.
Anthony Faiola, "Three Japanese Held In Iraq By Group Demanding Pullout," The Washington Post, April 9, 2004.
Richard Lloyd Parry and Tom Baldwin, "Kidnappers Rais Stakes in Iraq: Group Issues Video Vowing to Brun 3 Japanese Civilians Unless Forces Leave in 3 days," Ottawa Citizen, April 9, 2004.