Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Negotiations Continue for the Release of Tickle Me Elmo 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot J.D.: The captured American soldier whose photograph (below left) was posted on the website of a group calling itself the "Mujahedeen Brigades" has been definitively identifed:
A militant group's claim that it had kidnapped a U.S. soldier in Iraq and planned to behead him was suspected of being a hoax yesterday, after a California toy manufacturer said photos of the purported captive on an insurgent Web site appeared to show one of its collectible dolls . . . .

U.S. military authorities said aspects of the photograph raised doubts: The soldier's vest, for instance, resembled no such equipment issued by the Army, and the claim on the Web site about the kidnapping appeared to contain misspellings. Nevertheless, they asked for a full accounting of military personnel in Iraq . . . .

"This looks like our doll," said Liam Cusack, a company spokesman [for Dragon Models USA]. "We don't want to say 100 percent that it is our doll, but it does bear a striking resemblance. We're hoping that this is actually a hoax."

Cusack said the doll appeared to be the black version of its "Cody" action figure, one of several thousand sold to U.S. military bases in Kuwait about three years ago. The dolls are minutely detailed and frequently used in dioramas of war scenes.

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