Incident Summary:

01/24/2006: Two German engineers, Thomas Nitzschke and Rene Braeunlich, employees of the German firm Cyrotec, were abducted at gunpoint near an oil refinery in Baiji, Iraq, by armed members of a group called Ansar al-Tahwid wal Sunna. A few days later, a video of them and their captors appeared on Al Jazeera TV. The men were released on May 2 after the German government reportedly paid a ransom.




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: Business
Name of Entity Cyrotec
Specific Description Cyrotec engineers Thomas Nitzschke and Rene Braeunlich
Nationality of Target Germany
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 4
US Hostages 0
Days of Kidnapping 100
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom Yes
Total Ransom Amount Demanded Unknown
Ransom Amount Demanded from US Sources Unknown
Total Ransom Amount Paid Unknown
Total Ransom Amount Paid by US Sources Unknown
Ransom Notes Unknown
Property Damage Unknown
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
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 Only one news account mentioned that two Iraqis were abducted as well, but there was never mention of their release or whereabouts after that.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Ansar al-Tahwid wal Sunna Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Video)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 7
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
“Grenade Blast Outside Indian Consulate in Afghanistan, No Casualties,” AFP, January 25, 2006.
“Grenade Attack Near Indian Consulate in Kandahar (Province),” Indo-Asian News Service, January 25, 2006.
“Grenade Explodes Outside Women’s Ministry in Kabul, but Causes no Casualties,” Associated Press Worldstream, January 24, 2006