American hostage found dead in Iraq
An American who was among four Christian activists abducted last year in Iraq has been executed, a State Department spokesman confirmed Friday. The FBI verified that a body found in Iraq Friday morning was that of Tom Fox, 54, spokesman Noel Clay said.
"The State Department continues to call for the unconditional release of all other hostages" in Iraq, the spokesman said.
Fox's organization, Christian Peacemaker Teams, said Friday, "We mourn the loss of Tom Fox, who combined a lightness of spirit, a firm opposition to all oppression, and the recognition of God in everyone."
Christian Peacemaker co-directors Doug Pritchard and Carol Rose said in a statement, "In response to Tom's passing, we ask that everyone set aside inclinations to vilify or demonize others, no matter what they have done."
On Tuesday, Al-Jazeera TV aired footage of the three other activists purportedly appealing to their governments to secure their release. The hostages seen in the brief video dated Feb. 28 were Canadians James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32; and Briton Norman Kember, 74.
The previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigades claimed responsibility for kidnapping the four workers, who disappeared Nov. 26.