REPORT: Two Missing U.S. Soldiers Found Dead after Torture by Islamic Captors

20 June 2006: The reports have yet to be confirmed by U.S. officials, however several external news sources including the Washington Post report that General Abdul Aziz Muhammed, head of operations at Iraqi Ministry of Defense acknowledged that the soldiers had been “barbarically” killed and that there were traces of torture on their bodies. The two U.S. soldiers missing since an attack on a checkpoint last week were found dead near a power plant in Yusifiyah, south of Baghdad, according to Muhammed. The soldiers were identified as Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker, 25, of Madras, Oregon. A third U.S. soldier, Spec. David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, MA., was killed in the attack.

The soldiers were reportedly executed “in a manner consistent with Islamic law.”

Randy Taylor, Senior Independent Analyst, stated that he has seen multiple postings about the captured soldiers that were made by the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC), although there have been significant postings and specific references to the Army of Ansar al Sunna, a Sunni extremist group linked with al Qaeda. A careful analysis of the various Arabic postings and claims of responsibility suggest the possibility that the MSC could be attempting to appear more operational than they actually are since the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi. Initially, there appeared to be some indication that the soldiers were to be used as a bargaining tool in exchange for the body of al Zarqawi, although this does not appear to be the case. Our investigation and analysis is continuing.

11:30 a.m. UPDATE: A number of messages, posted on at least two Arabic language terrorist forums, state that our soldiers were “slaughtered,” or beheaded, in accordance with Quranic law. We are unable to authenticate the validity of the message. We regret any loss of our troops, and our heartfelt prayers go out to their families –Douglas J. Hagmann, the staff, investigators, researchers and analysts of the Northeast Intelligence Network.