BUSH SAYS INSURGENTS ACCESS TO OFFICIALLY LICENSED NFL MERCHANDISE “COULD MAKE EVILDOERS TOUGHER TO DETECT”
BAGHDAD - An Iranian diplomat was abducted Sunday on a crowded downtown street in a brazen daylight kidnapping by a group identified as “The Soldiers of Manning.”
Authorities say the diplomat, whose identity has not been revealed by the Iranian State Department, was enticed into the vehicle with the promise of Super Bowl tickets. According to witnesses, a group of men wearing the uniforms of the Indianapolis Colts approached the victim, and, after a brief discussion, were seen pushing him into a vehicle. The vehicle sped off at a high rate of speed, and was later found abandoned on the Hussein Expressway.
CIA officials have spent the past forty-eight hours scrutinizing video-taped film of the Super Bowl, but have yet to find the diplomat in the crowd, or on the sideline. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall said the league had conducted a thorough investigation of the incident.
“We are certain that no members of the Indianapolis Colts were involved in the dastardly act perpetrated against this individual,” said Goodall. The Commissioner then delivered a recitation on the league’s policy against kidnapping, which, for first-time offenders, carries a mandatory one-game suspension.
A CIA spokesman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said the tactics employed by the kidnappers reflect a greater level of sophistication. Speaking with reporters at the White House today, President Bush said that “kidnappings by groups like The Soldiers of Manning show just how high the stakes are for us in Iraq .” The President expressed confidence the Iraqi police would locate the unnamed diplomat in due time. “They’ve never let us down before,” he said.