AP Busted Again: Bogus "Execution" Story Does Not Add Up

Charles Johnson was on to something when he questioned the legitimacy of another AP report on the killing- execution style– of 4 contractors in Iraq,on Tuesday.
The AP reported:

New details also emerged about the downing of a private U.S. security company helicopter on Tuesday, with U.S. and Iraqi officials saying four of five Americans who died in the incident were shot execution-style.

But, today terror groups released video and pictures of their evil deeds on the internet. There is no evidence that the Americans were “executed”.

From SITE Institute
Ansar al-Sunnah Claims Responsibility

The ID cards, credit cards, and dog tags belong to Arthur Laguna, from Sacramento, California, who the group claims was killed in the attack.

SITE reported: “According to the message, the Mujahideen of Ansar al-Sunnah downed one helicopter, killing three of its American crew members, and are hunting the fourth who escaped injured. In one of the pockets of a fallen soldier, the group found identification cards that were provided as an attachment.”

The AP originally claimed that “four of the five Blackwater employees killed were shot execution style in the back of the head.”
Here is the latest from the AP on the incident posted today now that the terrorists released video of the crash:

An insurgent group that has claimed responsibility for the downing this week of a U.S. helicopter in Baghdad that killed five Americans posted a video on an Islamic Web site showing the wreckage and two bodies.

The 1-minute, 14-second video carried the logo of the 1920 Revolution Brigades, a known Sunni militant group. It showed wreckage of a helicopter with bricks scattered around it. The naked bodies of two men, one with gray hair and the other with dark hair, were seen near the wreckage.

“Our heroes were able to shoot the film of the helicopter wreckage after they downed it over a roof of a house of a citizen,” said a statement from the group.

Iraqi and U.S. officials said earlier that four of the five Americans who died in the downing of a U.S. security company’s helicopter in a dangerous Sunni neighborhood in central Baghdad on Tuesday were killed on the ground, in execution-style shootings in the back of the head.

The two bodies shown in the video had no visible gunshot wounds to the head or any other visible wounds.

Another militant group, Ansar al-Sunnah Army, which also has claimed responsibility for downing the helicopter, said in a statement posted Wednesday on an Islamic Web site that its fighters “rushed toward the crash of the helicopter while under fire from a second (U.S.) helicopter and killed three U.S. soldiers.”

The authenticity of the two statements could not be verified.

The helicopter, owned by Blackwater USA, was shot down after racing to help a U.S. Embassy ground convoy that had come under fire in the Sunni neighborhood. A second helicopter also was hit but there were no casualties among its crew, a Washington official said.

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army posted with its statement an ID card it claimed was from a man who was on the helicopter. The card bore the name of Arthur Laguna, later identified by his mother as among those killed. Laguna was a 52-year-old pilot for Blackwater, which provides security for State Department officials in Iraq, trains military units from around the world, and works for corporate clients.

Here is a letter to IraqSlogger from the brother of one of the downed pilots:

From Dan Laguna, Brother of downed Blackwater pilot, Art Laguna

I sent out two helicopters to help our team in contact. After they were on station for a very short time they began to receive automatic fire. One of my door gunners was shot immediately in the head. Both helicopters flew back to the Green zone to get him to the hospital.

I was monitoring the radio and knew we had at lest one wounded. I got my crew together and and my brother’s crew then went back out to help our PSD team. When we arrived at their location which only took about three minutes, we started to receive heavy volumes of automatic fire from all around..

After I got back to our area I had the mechanics put on three more rotor blades and went back out to find my brother and his crew. It only took them about ten to fifteen minutes to get me airborne again. I was back up looking for my brother and was able to get the military to help with search.

It took about twenty minutes to locate the helicopter. It had been shot down in a small ally which made it very difficult to locate. By the time we found the helicopter two of the bodies were dragged out and into the street. The Army and our PSD team got there just in time before they could do anything with them.

Sadly, one was his brother, Arthur.
God rest his soul.

Twentieth Revolution Brigades claimed they were the ones to shoot down the contractors.

SITE Institute has more on the crash in a video that Ansar al-Sunnah released today:

Ansar al-Sunnah claims that the Mujahideen of their faction shot down the helicopter yesterday amid fighting Iraqi National Guard in the al-Fadhil district, killing three American soldiers and injuring a fourth who fled. Their communiqué contained identification and credits cards and the dog tag of Arthur Laguna, a Blackwater employee who died in the attack. The Islamic Army in Iraq also claimed responsibility for shooting down a helicopter, killing four American soldiers, but indicated the location to be al-Meidan in Baghdad.

Media reports indicate that five contractors employed by Blackwater security were killed when their helicopter was shot down yesterday, January 23, in central Baghdad by militant forces.

It looks like there were not 4 contractors killed “execution style” as the AP reported.
Two bodies were recovered at the crash site.
And, there were no executions reported as the AP claimed in their original story.

Talisman Gate has more on the Blackwater employees.

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