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Notícies :: guerra
13 oct 2003
Millions of dollars is spent searching for WMD in Iraq; they may not exist. When I was in Iraq searching for something that does (my daughter), I was captured by the US Army and treated as a terrorist suspect. Mr Bush, Mr Blair, search for the truth, not a lie. Where's My Daughter?

I ask 'Where's My Daughter'. She asks 'Where's My Daddy'. She exists, I exist, but WMD probably don't. Time to search for the truth; it's a lot cheaper that trying to prove a lie is true !

Millions of dollars are spent searching for WMD, things that probably don't exist in Iraq. When I went to Iraq to search for something that does, my daughter, I was captured by the US Army and held as a 'terrorist suspect', an 'ememy prisoner of war' and held under armed guard for three weeks at Baghdad Airport.

Mr Bush, Mr Blair, will you finally answer my question and divert some time to answering the REAL WMD question? WHERES MY DAUGHTER ?

Many of you will have seen this story unfold on Indymedia over the last few weeks. I'm the english guy who was captured by the US Army in Iraq while searching for my missing 2 year old daughter, a child I have never seen. Despite the Coalition Provisional Authority and the US Army knowing exactly why I was in Iraq and despite carrying 100% documentation, I was captured along with the Turkish Special Forces at Sulaimaniyah (North Iraq) on 4th July and held under armed guard for 24 hours each day for three weeks.

Thanks to all who have responded with messages of support and also to those who have warned me against making the trip to Washington DC to lobby the Whitehouse. In response to the many requests I have received, here is the full text of what exactly happened. The exact same text was sent (on the 17th September 2003) to President George Bush, Tony Blair and seven US Senators. No direct replies have been received from any of them; no-one wants to apologise and no-one is offering to help me find my missing daughter. No-one is prepared to answer this important 'WMD' question.
The US media have not carried this story and I want to know the real reason why? Of course I can guess, but I wonder if the fact that the grandfather of my child is a US Cabinet Member has anything to do with it?
I want nothing more than my daughter in my arms, but clearly, political and corporate advancement are more important that the life of an innocent little girl. I am afraid, but I will return to Iraq to find my child or death. You have a right to know the truth, before the corporate media distort it.

The text follows immediately below. If you have theory as to why the US media is thus far ignoring this story, then mail me on mtodd ARROBA Thanks.

After receiving final clearance from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and making final arrangements for the otobus journey from Ankara, I
actually left the Turkish capital on the 12th of July, traveling overnight and arriving at Silopi the next day. I joined two Iraqi men who were returning home from Europe and shared a taxi cross the border at Harbor. The crossing and border formalities were very smooth; I was very pleased indeed that the faxes from the Turkish
Government had indeed arrived at the Police Chiefs Office there; I was allowed to enter north iraq after a relative short period of time. It is appropriate for me to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan and to Mr Alp Ay of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; both of who showed great humanity and kindness in
allowing me to enter Iraq.
At the Iraqi border the heat was intense, it really was, despite the time of my crossing been just around 17.00 hours. Our taxi took us to
a taxi terminal inside north iraq where we were dropped off. I said goodbye to the Turkish taxi driver and then tried to explain that I wanted to get to the nearest large town in order to catch a bus to Erbil. My intention was to go straight to this town as this is where the ICRC (Red Cross / Red Crescent) have their main office in North
Iraq. Once there I planned to register my case with them and gain their assistance in finding my daugter.
At the taxi station I met an Iraqi man who spoke good english and said that he'd been working in England for the past few years. After I had told him the reason I was in Iraqi he offered to take me to his home, look after me and help me find my daughter. At first I was a little nervous but eventually trusted him and agreed to go with him.
Within 10 kilometres of entering Iraq we saw an American Humvee vehicle on patrol..We were all surprised how close this US Army vehicle
was to the Turkish border.
The name of the Iraqi man who helped me was Rafiq; he lived in Sulaymaniyah. On the way there we drove through the towns of Mosul, Kirkuk, Erbil and then on to Sulaimayiyah where I was looked after very well indeed.
The hospitality in this Iraqi home was fantastic; everything I wanted was provided and they never asked me for any money whatsoever. They were very concerned about my story and admired my courage in entering Iraq to find my daughter and to give out soft toys to Iraqi children.
In the house lived several small children so I was happy to give some toys to them. The Iraqi man (Rafiq) and his whole family helped me very much. In his car we drove all over the north of Iraq, searching many areas and villages for my daughter and for information about where she might be. We also registered my missing daughter /
dead girlfriend at the ICRC (Red Cross / Red Crescent) by visiting their offices in both Sulaymaniyah and Erbil. I made an appeal for
information about my daughter on local radio and television and also used the internet each day to keep up to date with events in Iraq and also to contact the media in the UK and those who were helping me.
Each day I saw American Army vehicles and spotted them throughout the area, especially in Kirkuk. Often we would see US military operations and saw some local men kicked and beaten at the side of the road.
Some locals welcomed the American presence but others did not trust them at all.

On the 4th of July at 15.00 my friend drove me to the Internet Cafe as usual. I used the internet every day; it was very important for me to keep in touch with friends and with those who were helping me. I had much to do that day so I told him to come back and collect me at 19.00. I logged on but the server crashed at 15.20. At 15.22 I left the Internet Cafe and decided to go shopping. Accidentally I had broken a picture frame in the house and thought it would be a kind
gesture to buy a new one for my friend and his family. I walked down the main street (a dual carriageway) searching for a suitable shop,
struggling in the afternoon heat. On my left before me was a green sign. pointing the way to a an official building that dealt with foreigners. I decided to visit this office and register details of my missing daughter and to ask their help in finding her.
I turned left off the main road. The heat was very intense and the road was straight before I came to a nice area where flowers grew. I heard a lot of shouting and gunfire ahead but decided to carry on towards the office as the gunfire stopped. I walked on and approached a road junction where one road veered off left and the road I was on bent around the the right. Near this junction I saw soldiers but I did not know the uniform they were wearing. They were dressed in brown military uniforms: I later found out that they were PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) soldiers. They were fully armed with rifles and looking all around very carefully with their guns at the ready. I was not sure what was happening but they didn't smile at me; they looked very worried but I continued, seeing hundreds of people
at the side of the road junction, all without smiles and all still and silent.
I continued walking but slowed down and smiled at the soldiers. If they had any qeuestions about why I was there then I would be able to answer them. Always when I went out of the house I carried ALL documents relating to my trip. This included all communications with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Erdogans office, faxes to George Busg and Tony Blair, my passort, letters from my Iraqi girlfriend to me, newspaper articles about the search for my daughter, a photograph of my daughter and a picture of me handing out toys to some Iraqi children who I met in Syria (Damascus) when I tried to cross into Iraq from there. I also had a copy of an email the American Embassy had sent to Paul Bremers office in Baghdad (US Administrator of Iraq / head of Coalition Provisional Authority); it told him why I was in Iraq and was also sent to about 8 US Military Units in Iraq. I had 100% ocumentation.
Just around the corner I then saw that the road was blocked off by 5 or 6 American Army humvee vechles. There were very many soldiers who were clearly American with several PUK soldiers on the edge of this operation, perhaps securing the area. All soldiers were very alert and pointing their guns at a building that everyone was staring at.
The humvee vehicles were fully armed with weapons and all pointed them towards this building. (This building was the Turkish Bureau of course, but I didn't know this at the time).
What was happening was none of my business; I had no interest whatsoever in this war and had already said in media interviews that I did not support it; I am infact a pacifist.
I recognised that it was not a good situation but continued to smile at the people watching and continued to the office gate. The men outside said it was closed so I said 'thank you' and turned around to walk back the way I came. They men at the door were very unfriendly and quite hostile; I didn't understand this but I was soon to find out.
As I turned away to walk away slowly two PUK soldiers rushed towards me with their guns pointing at me. They grabbed my arms very tightly
and dragged me across the road very quickly. They were hurting me but I tried to stay calm, explaining that I was English, that I had my
passport and was searching for my little girl. They ignored me, dragging me further and refusing to listen. They told me to shut up and gestured ahead.
As I looked up I saw another humvee and more American soldiers. Many weapons were pointed at me and there were many angry looking faces. Suddenly it was time for me to stop smiling and realise that my life was now under threat. The PUK soldiers pushed me along and then stood me before a soldier who looked about 18 years old. The PUK men would not let me go. I explained to the American soldiers that I was english and had 100% docuements to prove my story. They too refused to listen and told me to 'shut the fuck up'. They grabbed me and took me away; all the time weapons were pointed at me and I thought they were going to kill me.
We turned a corner to the back of a house which had a black metal gate.I was shocked to see many more American soldiers, all with weapons pointed and fingers on the triger. The weapons pointed at me which was just crazy - why didn't they check my documents and find out that even Paul Bremer knew about my mission to find my daughter.
I was shocked to see a US Army truck full of men with plastic bags on their heads and their hand tied behind their backs. This truck was parked just outside the gate and was a very heavy and serious situation. It was heavily guarded by American soldiers and had two humvees pointing weapons at it too. Some soldiers were shouting at
the men in the truck and I saw one soldier spit at them. They were been treated as if they had comitted some serious criminal act and I feared for their future. As I got close to the truck one man was pulled out, thrown to the floor and kicked in the head while three other soldiers kicked him in the stomach. He was then spat and called a âBin Laden motherfuckerâ?. Two soldiers then leapt into the truck and there was a tussle; I believe that another man had been beaten for no reason. Another soldier then fired his gun into the air and then pointed it an me. âWant some American bullet up your ass, you motherfuckerâ??
I was taken very quickly into a small back yard, past the black metal gate. I remember seeing the number of the house on the concrete at the left side of the gate. The numbers were in Arabic and there were two of them. I was pushed into the yard and kicked to the floor and made to kneel there in the intense heat. I was punched and kicked around a bit. I heard abusive language. They called me terrorist, an Al-Quaida member, a British SAS and even an assasain. It was all like
a bad dream, especially when they again refused to look at my documents or give me water. All they could say was 'shut the fuck up' and that I was a terrorist etc. I tried to look them in the eye and smiled to them, but they could not deal with this and some spat towards me. My heart was full of love - for my daughter and for the innocent Iraqi children who I would be giving toys and love to - but they couldn't deal with this at all. I looked at many faces and saw
young frightened soldiers who would have much rather have been back in America. I also noticed some body-building equipment such as weights, like the things you find in a gymnasium. The fitness equipment looked to be home-made however.
They tied my hands very tight, took all my ersonal belongings and gave me a painful body search. They then put a white plastic bag over
my head and verball abused me. One soldier spat on my back and another kicked me up my bottom very hard. I couldn't breath well and thought I was going to collapse - the heat was unbearable and the fumes from the hot plastic bag tasted very toxic. I was either going to die from plastic poisoning or from an American bullet. But why? WHY?
Very roughly I was thrown on truck with other men who had been captured. They were very rough and I slipped, demaging my right leg but they didn't apologise at all. Clearly this is a word they they
couldn't even spell or pronounce! After a brief stop in some kind of compound in Sulaymaniyah we were driven to Kirkuk Air Base and promised that we would see the Judge immediately. We never did. As soon as we left this compound in Sulaymaniyah the bags were removed from our heads. This was very bad as it allowed people to see our faces, people who were walking on the streets and people in cars. It was clear to me that the Americans were almost 'parading' us in from of the local citizens to show them what a 'good job' they were doing.
I heard someone call out my name so it was clear that one of my friends had seen me. What a hameful thing; I was very worried that my friend would now think I had done something very wrong. Some local people shouted abuse at us, several stones were thrown towards us and some people spat. The soldiers were happy to see this abuse and did nothing to stop it continuing.
I sat on the hot metal floor of the truck and my bottom was burnt, such was the heat. Most of the men were sitting on seats at the edge of the truck but there were six of us on the floor, bouncing up and down each time the truck hit a hole in the road. As we had our hands tied tightly behind our backs many of us were in much pain, especially when we were thrown into the air as the truck hit a hole in the road. The driver seemed to deliberately drive into holes in order to inflict more suffering on us.
Men tried to talk but we were all told, repeatedly, to 'shut the fuck up'. We were told that we'd be shot if we tried to do anyhing and
that we must be silent. When the soldiers were distracted some words were spoken and I recognised the Turkish accent. I was very confused
as to why the Americans were treating Turkish people in this way. Two soldiers sat in the truck with us; both had loaded M16's aimed at us and both of them stared at us constantlt to make sure we didn't move.
The truck was followed by two humvee vehicles with weapons pointed at us and I guessed that there were others in front. The soldiers in the
truck started also at every vehicle that overtook us, waving on any car that slowed down. I was now very afraid, thinking that a grenade could easily be thrown into the truck. I just couldn't believe they could do this to me; it was worse than the worst bad dream and seemed like I was sliding down a very deep, dark and dangerous hole.
During the journey several men complained that their writs were hurting and that they had lost all feeling in their hands, such was the tightness of the white plastic handcuffs. Nothing was done to relieve our pain until one Turkish man almost collapsed in pain. The convoy was stopped and one soldier got permission to cut this man free. This man sat in front of me and I saw that his hands had turned blue and he was bleeding. It was disgusting so I spoke to the
soldiers, asking them to help him. They said that they would only cut him lose if we all promised not to ask to be cut free outselves. As the man was cut free an M16 was pointed at his head. They told him that they would shoot him dead if he tried to escape or attack them.
Sitting just to my right was a Turkish man who began to speak to me in english. He explained that he was a civilian and had only been visiting the building. As I became more angry I too began to speak to this man, ignoring the demands for me to be quite. I told the soldiers that I was a British citizen, that they had no rights to treat me this way and that I had a right to talk. I told him why I was in Iraq and he was shocked. It was clear that he and the others were very angry and shocked at the way we were all been treated. I
found out later that this kind man was called Turgay and the man he was with in Sulaymaniyah was called Deniz. It was he who was the most
vocal in complaining at our treatment, saying that America had no respect for human rights if they could treat us in this way. I turned
around and smiled to him, agreeing with what he was saying. Although I had no idea why the Americans had captured this men, all of whom
seemed to be honourable and good, I turned around and smiled to as many as possible. Going through such an ordeal meant that we were bonded together in a special way - we were all struggling together.
I didn't know at the time that we were heading to Kirkuk but I was able to help Turgay because I recognised the places we were driving through. We passed by a town called Chamchamal; I remembered it from the times I'd driven there with my friend Rafiq looking for my daughter Sajida. I told Turgay that we were now heading towards Kirkuk and suspected that we may be on the way to Baghdad. He told the others in Turkish. The soldiers were very angry with me for telling this; clearly they didn't want us to know where we were going. We had a right to know of course so I was happy to be of some help as none of the others knew where we were going. But why were we been taken so far away and for what? As we drove on I mentally prepared myself for torture and death. I accepted that this was a strong possibility and started to 'pray', hoping that others would continue the search for my daughter if I was killed. Such insane treatement of a man looking for his child meant that anything
was possible. Maybe they would take us to a remote area and just shoot us. Perhaps the plastic bags were to cover our head as we were
shot. I didn't want to die and fought to stay mentally strong, but accepted that it was very possbile.
Many faces in the truck were very angry, articularly on man who sat at the back who I found out later was the leader of the group. We
were all feared the unknown but were all comforted by each others, as people are who go through a terrible ordeal together.
I sat next to the soldiers so I could hear everything they said about the situation and us. They boasted of what they had just done, thinking that I could not hear. I could! They said how they had kicked some men, fired shots, punched men, kicked in doors and stuffed rifle butts in mens faces. They seemed to have enjoyed what
they had just done but I still didn't know why the Turkish men had been captured. After I'd told Turgay that we were heading towards Kirkuk the soldiers expressed their anger, telling me to 'shut the fuck up', again repeating their belief that I was a terrorist. The younger of the two said that he was authorised to shoot me dead. As I looked at him I could see his name written on his jacket. I kept a mental note of his name and remember it well. I also recall the name
of the SSG (Staff Sergeant) which was written on the window of one of the humvees that was following us. These names I will NEVER forget !
After our bags had been pulled of our heads we were all so relieved, taking huge gulps of clean air. I was worried of the health effects of breathing in plastic fumes. We were told to look after our bags and not to lose them. 'If you get the wrong bag they might think you are one of them, an Al-Quadia terrorist. I couldn't believe this but it was 100% proof to me that some of us were actually terrorist suspects. I believed that I was now in the presence of terrorists and
was very afraid. They repeated this terrorist talk many time, asking me if I was a member of Al-Quaida, the Taliban or even a 'British hit
man' (assassain). It was un-believable, especially as I had all the documents. It was useless but I asked the soldiers to look at my
documents. One said that my British passport was a forgery, that I was telling lies about looking for my daughter, that I hadn't faxed Bush and Blair and that Paul Bremer had no idea who I was.
Unbelievable arrogance from two un-informed, brain-washed teenagers!
We got closer to Kirkuk and I recognised an old abandoned tank at the side of the road which I'd seen many times just outside this city. We turned right just before this and hit some very big holes in the road - even the soldiers were thrown from their seats. I was worried in case my wrists had been broken as it was impossible to stabilise
myself with hand tied behind my back. I was thrown to the floor over 7 times on the journed and hurt very bad. After we'd turned right the
bags were put on our heads; rather a futile excercise as I knew where we were and told Turgay. Again the soldiers were angry with me. After the bags were on I was kicked in the face and could taste the blood dripping from my nose. I felt so sorry for the soldiers because they
had surrendered their minds, blinding following orders which were so cruelly wrong. I wished that they could get freedom from the army as soon as possible but I didn't wish them harm, recognising that the real idiots were those controlling them and using them for some political agenda.
I found a tiny hole in my bag and stared through, just enough to see that we were now in a very heaviliy militarised base. This was Kirkuk Air Base and it was full of many hundreds of soldiers and every kind of military hardware. Our situation was now much worse as we were surrounded by so many heavy weapons controlled by people who regarded us as terrorists.
Just before entering the base the bags were thrown on our heads again. We had been told to look after our individual bags "otherwise they may think you are with the Al-Quida men".
This was impossible as we were all handcuffed behind our backs. Also, the way we all bounced up and down (literally up in the air) meant that our bags were all over the place. Each bag had a number on but I did not know my number. The soldiers were very confused and didn't know which bag belonged to which person. They became angry when myself and others had 'lost' our bags even though it was totally their fault! This was just one small example of their excessive, un-reasonable behaviour and blaming innocent people for no reason. My bag was actually number W24 but the Turkish man next to me had lost his bag too and both of us thought that our bags belonged to another person. The soldiers threatened violence if we didn't get the correct bags; for the first time I thought them to be enemies. They made us
very fearful, deliberately weakening our minds; it was mental torture.
We were thrown off the truck and walked through a gate and then pushed to the floor where waited in silence; none of us were allowed to speak. Some of the men were kicked and I saw one Turkish man hit in the face with a rifle but. I was kicked in the back for no reason and I'm sure one American had a piss (urinated) behind me because there was suddenly a bad smell and water running under where I was sitting, soaking into my jeans. I overheard one American soldier say that he'd like to chop off all our heads and watch us run around like head-less chickens. Another said that he would 'spear those that move' (stab us with his knife). It was disgusting and I began to feel
sure that we had been taken their to be killed. I really believed we were going to die but I was also sure that they were going to torture us and play with us like a cat with a mouse just before killing it.
The soldiers had told us repeatedly that we would see a Judge as soon as we arrived but this was a lie. We were interviewed by no-one on the 4th of July and treated un-fairly. After the bags were off we got a good look at the men who had aptured us all as they smoked cigarettes, drank coca-cola and looked arrogant and confidence, just like a hunter returning home with a dead animal on his horse. They were clearly glad that their mission was over but they still had us under armed guard and weapons were everywhere. Not just M16âs but
machine guns too. Turgay did a good job translating and got to know what was happening first; he did a great job under the circusmstances.
I found out that there were Turkish men, Turkmens and locals from Sulaymaniyah. Two men told me that they had just been out to buy bread when they were captured by the Americans and yet here they were receiving the same treatment as Osama Bin Ladens group.
We eventually got water which was straight from the tap. The Americans had hundreds of bottles of water, some of it chilled, but none of it was given to us. We drank dirty tap water. I complained that my bottle had soap on the end of it and that the water tasted like soap had been added. Maybe I was getting paranoid but I thought
that some poison may have been added. I was aranoid because I just couldnât believe that a man searching for his missing daughter, with
only love in his heart, could be treated in such a way.
We were put into small, very hot rooms without windows and expected to sleep on the concrete floor. The door was left open but soldiers stood outside with weapons at the ready. The heat was unbearable and it was difficult to breathe. I was told not to go near the door and that the soldiers would shoot to kill if we did anything suspicious or tried to escape. After several hours a young soldier came in and took my photograph on a very expensive digital camera. I refused him permission to do this but he made threats against me so I co-operated. Again I was very concerned as to why they took our photographs and why, again, they were not listening to my factual story.
Sleep was impossible as the soldiers talked and laughed throughout the night. I heard exactly what they said and heard, for the first time, that the Turkish men were âSpecial Forcesâ?, that others were âAl-Quaida and Ansar Al-Islamâ? suspects and that they thought me to be either Al-Quaidad, Ansar Al-Islam, a British mercenary, an
asassain or the commander of the Turkish Special Forces. Many people will have heard of the famous book by Lewis Carroll called âAlice in Wonderlandâ, about adventures that were too unbelievable to be believable. For sure this was an âAlice in Wonderlandâ situation but would I wake up from the bad dream, just as Alice did in the story. I thought about this book a lot and the symbolism. Alice was also the name of my mother who was killed in 1988. Right then I missed her so much; I was also despite to hold my daughter Sajida but this was something that seemed almost impossible now.
Another reason that sleep wasnât possible for me was because of the fear of the un-known and the noise of soldiers talking, boasting and constantly clicking their weapons and changing the magazine on their M16âs. For sure it was a deliberate tactic to make us afraid.
The next day was Saturday the 5th of July. Quite early we were each led off one by one to a small office at the other side of the compound. I was the first and met an officer who I noted the name of.
He was totally different to the soldiers I had met and actually said that he was sorry about my detention. He said theyâd looked through
my documents but all he could say was that they now suspected I was a journalist as well, because all the phone and email contacts for the Turkish and UK media were in my phone book. I demanded that he look at the email from the US Embassy in Ankara to Paul Bremers office, the one that was also sent to several US Army units in Iraq. I made
sure he saw it but he said heâd never heard of the military units in question. He was telling lies but did say that he would call the US
Embassy to check out my story.â?If what you say is true then weâll cut you looseâ he said. This never happened; I was put back in the âcellâ
and waited in the intense heat. We were allowed to sit outside these rooms but could only do so if we were silent. I stayed in my room and
lost much weight through sweat.
Something I forgot to mention earlier was that there were two women and one child captured with us at the Turkish Bureau in Sulaimaniyah.
They were taken with us to Kirkuk Air Base and were held as prisoners too. I felt so sad and sorry for the way they were treated and thought about the families of these people.
At around 14.00 (on 5th July) the officer who had interviewed me came in to my cell to say that I would be taken to Baghdad. He apologized that he couldnât release me. âThis is out of my hands now. There are some very high-up people now who have ordered us to take you to Baghdad. They will sort everything out there Iâm sure.â? I told him
that I was afraid to go by road because of the liklehood of an ambush but he added that we would be flying down in a helicopter which was even worse as it also would be a target for anti- American Iraqis. He was quite pleasant and said that he was telling me about where we were going as he felt sorry for me. He said that he was not able to tell the other prisoners and that I shouldnât tell them. I thought this was not right and took the opportunity to ask him why they had been captured. âYou donât really want to know. The situation is very serious and it would worry you to know what they had done if I told
you. All I can say is that you should avoid them and that they are very probably dangerous terroristsâ?. I couldnât believe this at all,
I just couldnât. Surely the Americans had made a huge mistake, just as they had done with me. The Turkish men seemed ok to me.
One hour later the men were led away one by one, into a small room. Outside the room were soldiers guarding it, one of whom had a fully loaded maching gun pointing at the room. The Turkish men went in with their dignity intact but came out wearing the orange suit worn by terrorist suspects at Camp X Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. They all had plastic bags over their heads and wore plastic handcuffs, struggling to carry large plastic bags which contained their clothes.
I couldnât believe it and felt very sick. How could this be happening? I was very worried about what might be happening to the Turkish men. As we all watched them been led away no-one said a word;
the silence was very deathly. But then it was my turn; I shook my head but tried to stay calm by
thinking of my daughter. I was stripped naked and forced to wear the orange suit. I was handcuffed tightly and then the in-human plastic bag was put on my head. I was led away and thrown on another truck. I felt someone next to me so I guessed that I was still with the Turkish men. I was sure when I heard them speak, mostly asking for water as this truck was not covered over and the heat was un-bearable. The smell from the hot plastic was bad, very bad, but we were kept out in the sun for over 30 minutes before we moved off. The
reason for the delay? The soldiers were looking for their cameras so that they could take a picture of us. I saw several flashes and know
that some soldiers were posing next to us. From the tiny hole in my bag I saw one soldier point his M16 next to a Turkish mans head while a picture was taken. According to my knowledge of the Geneva Convention, it is illegal for soldiers to take pictures of prisoners in a theatre of war. They didnât care about this, saying amongst
themselves that this was a very exciting ission. âWe get to guard some terrorist motherfuckers at last and do something dangerous at lastâ? said one.
I heard Turgays voice so I told him where we were going and that weâd be flying in a Chinook. The noise as we were lead to the helicopter was VERY loud and caused intense pains in my ears. We were not allowed to put our hands to our ears to protect them. On the Chinook helicopter flight they did not give us ear plugs to stop the very
loud noise. As a result of this I have damaged hearing. The soldiers wore earplugs. The flight was a nightmare and some people were sick because of the helicopters sudden dives and intense turns. I thought we might be shot at or crash.

At Baghdad Airport we were all exhausted and un-well as we'd had the bags on our heads for the whole flight. I knew by now that most of the men were Turkish as I recognized the language and had made friends men called Turgay and Deniz, who were both kind and helpful.
Several of us felt unwell and one Turkish man collapsed onto the floor; he seemed to be unconscious. Medical people arrived but were
very slow in coming to help the man.
I just had to lay down as the water was not provided when we asked for it. I was exhausted and close to collapsing. I lay down with my
left foot over my raised knee. One soldier came to me and kicked my foot off my knee and hurt me badly. My toe was broken but no treatment was given. I stood up and stared him in the face, reminding him that I was an English man and they had no right to treat us like dogs. He told me to 'shut the fuck up, asshole' and then walked off.
After many hours waiting in a big, dirty warehouse the leader of the Turkish men was asked to come forward and identify 'his men'. I found
out from my Turkish friend that most of the men were 'Special Forces'. The first group got up and were led out; six of us remained.
As we were all dressed like terrorist suspects I really did think that they were going to fly us to Guantanamo Bay and could only think that I was never going to see my daughter Sajida. As the leader of the Turkish men passed me he smiled encouragingly, a gesture which I appreciated. I smiled back.
The remaining six of us (which included Turgay and Deniz) then marched out under armed guard and put on a small civilian bus which had the letters 'PW' on the side, meaning PRISONERS OF WAR. This was unbelievable and surely impossible that they could treat me like this - I was in Iraq to find my daughter and to give out soft-toys to the Iraqi children. It was crazy as even Paul Bremers office (US Administrator of Iraq and head of the Coalition Provisional Authority) knew why I was in Iraq, as did many US Army Units. I was now a PRISONER OF WAR. Please wake me up from this bad dream !!!

The next worry was that we seemed to be heading out of the Airport. The road was littered with tanks, burnt out vehicles and there was much bomb damage all around. I was very concerned that the vehicle would be ambush and weâd all be shot dead. All the soldiers were on high alert and watched us intently.
We got to an area full of bright lights and stopped outside a two story building. Greeting us were over 40 fully armed soldiers, several military vehicles and several helicopters over head, all with weapons pointed at us. We were led into the building where there were many more soldiers, all with weapons and wearing body armour and hard hats. They looked at us as though weâd just blown up the World Trade Centre and they theyâd be quite happy to fill our weak bodies with bullets.
We were led through a small door and were faced with very high razor wire. It was dangerous to squeeze through the hole in it but we had
to in order to get to our new prison. I was happy to see all the other Turkish men who were, by now, sitting on green canvas beds (portable military ones) and chatting. The leader again smiled at me;I was happy that they were safe but felt very alarmed by the number of soldiers guarding us. They were on the room and looked through almost all the 40 or so windows that overlooked the small square we were held in.
Water did come but it was in dirty 5-gallon Army containers. We were not allowed to go to the toilet and were expected to shit in a small
cardboard box. To urinate we had to piss in a mineral water bottle.
This was so humiliating as the whole area was full of very strong lights and there was no cover on the roof. It was not possible to wash and all the beds were pushed very close together.
It was a horrible feeling to be stared at in such an evil way by so many hostile soldiers, all of them with weapons pointed at us; our every move was observed with suspicion. It was not possible to sleep but I gained some comfort by looking at the stars above and thinking about my daughter.
The next morning, very early, we were each led away one by one for questioning. The Turkish leader was one of the first to go whereas I was just about the last. I was led away with two armed soldiers and taken into a very untidy room with a table and two chairs. Just about every door I walked past had been kicked in, perhaps when the Americans stormed the airport. I was asked to sit down and was interrogated by two officers who sat in their T-shirts. I found out
later that this was so that we couldnât identify them by the names on their jackets. I was ask why I was in the area and what my connection was to the Turkish men. I told them that I had 100%
documentation proving everything and that I could go and collect it.
They said that this was not necessary and that they didnât need to see anything. I was shocked by this; I just couldnât believe why they
didnât want to see my evidence. It was almost as if the Americans didnât want to be proved wrong once they had made their mind up about something. It seemed as though we were all regarded as âterrorist suspectsâ no matter what we said or tried to show them. This was a blatant example of short-sightedness and a sign of stupid arrogance
on their part. Were the Americans afraid of the truth. When I told them I was in Iraq to find my daughter and to give out soft toys to Iraqi children as gifts of love, they laughed. I did not like their reaction and was very angry that they should doubt me like this. They didnât care about my daughter or the toys and didnât ask a single question about this. All they wanted to know was where Iâd had my military training, who I worked for and who I was in Iraq to kill. I
could have spat in their faces but this is not my style. Instead I felt so very sorry that they had allowed their minds to be surrendered to a very ignorant superior force. I hoped they could
soon be free of ignorance and that they could go home and leave the Army soon. They showed me an M16 and asked me to hold and operate it.
I hadnât a clue and didnât want to touch it; I do not like weapons of any kind. I told them that an âM16â was the name of a motorway / road
near where I lived in England. They were not amused, in fact they didnât smile at all. I was irritating them and again asked why they didnât ask to see my documents. They said that they would make their own enquiries. The bottom line was that they thought I was connected with the Turkish Special Forces.
After we had all been interrogated I decided it was time to be more sociable with the others. There was a major problem with the heat from the sun. As there was no roof on the building we all got very hot and were burning in the sun. We all had to crowd together in a corner to stay in the shade. I soon got to know my fellow Prisoners
of War well. One thing we all had in common was our disbelief over the way we had been treated. I met and spoke to the leader of the Special Forces who said that he was a Major. I know his name but it may be too sensitive to reveal it hear, suffice to say that I am contact with him now via email. I liked him a lot, respected his knowledge, intelligence and world view. It would be a pleasure to meet him again as it would with all the others, especially Turgay and Deniz. I hope that I can meet my fellow prisoners of war when I return to Turkey soon within the next few weeks as I prepare to enter Iraq again to search for my missing daughter.
The Major told me exactly what happened when the American stormed into the Turkish Bureau and it was not pleasant to hear. The behaviour of the Americans was disgraceful, especially as the Turks
welcomed them. These men did not deserve to be treated like this and I was shocked to see the marks on the Majors back where he had been
kicked around. I will not reveal exactly what happened out of respect to this man and also the Turkish Government as this may be classified
information. However, when in Turkey I will be very pleased to meet the government and give a full briefing of what happened and the many
sensitive things I saw in northern Iraq before my capture. As you will understand, this is only a small part of the story and some things have been left out for security reasons.
Most of Sunday was spent been interrogated more. I was stunned when the Major told me that the Americans had asked him if I was the Commander of the Turks. I thought he was joking but he was deadly serious. It seems that the Americans had asked the same question to some of the other Turkish men also. It was now insane, just totally
mad. Didnât these soldiers go to school? Were the officers brainwashed from an early age, to treat everyone as an enemy and to ignore evidence if it contradicts with what you believe? In all honesty I know 10 year old children with more common sense!
Later on Sunday there was a lot of activity and an American General came into our compound and talked with the Major. He was allowed out of the compound and was allowed to talk to someone on a satellite phone. After this we were allowed out to use the toilet, but only while we were still handcuffed, with two armed soldiers at our side
and in a portable plastic toilet that smelt like old death. Pointing to the toilets was much heavy artillery and many weapons, making it hard to concentrate on the toilet. It was insane.
The Major told me that he had spoken to a âvery seniorâ person in the Turkish military and that they were to be released the next day. He thought that I would be released with them so we were all very happy, celebrating with a bottle of dirty water. It was believed that George Bush himself called the place where we been held. For sure this was a big incident; the Major said that both governments were in deep discussion together.
No-one slept at all on the Sunday night as news came though that they would be released at 5am on Monday morning. We talked a great deal and they loved my George Bush jokes although they are too rude to discuss here. If you send me an email I will share them with you ! I gave my email address to three people including the Major and hope to hear from them. So far I have received two emails from the Major.
There was no official word on what would happen to me so I didnât get ready to go like the rest of them. As the time approached the mood was positive but they were still very angry. At 5 am the word came and the Special Forces got up to go. The word also came that I would not be going with them so I was absolutely desperate and couldnât face been alone in Baghdad Airport surrounded my immature soldiers with guns they treated like toys. I was very emotional when they left and said fond goodbyes to them all. I was exhausted but did not go to sleep so that I could say goodbye to them. They promised to contact
the media in Turkey and I want to thank them for doing this and mentioning me when they were interviewed on their return.
Within two hours of my friends leaving I was taken out of the open-prison and into a room used by officers at the building we were staying at. The number of soldiers was reduced but in the room
guarding me were 12 soldiers, all with loaded M16âs at the ready.
They took it in turns to guard me with two soldiers guarding me for 2 hour shifts. They sat on chairs just 1 metre away from my bed and had
there weapons on me all the time, 24 hours a day. Yes, even as I slept there were two M16âs just one metre away from my body. Really it was insane, it really was, but this continued for over 3 weeks.
My treatment was a little better now and I got the chance to talk to the soldiers who gave revealing information. They were told, before
they came on shift to guard me, that I was an âENEMY PRISONER OF WARâ. I would not hurt even a mosquito and yet they treated me like
I was the leader of a terrorist unit who had just been stopped from killing many people. They refused to allow me any phone calls which
was surely illegal. I couldnât call the British Embassy in Baghdad and I couldnât speak to a Lawyer. The soldiers were also told that I
was âextremely dangerousâ and not to talk to me.
On Tuesday the 8th of July Richard Webb, a British Diplomat came to see me. I told him the whole story and he was shocked by my treatment. He said he would try and arrange my release but said that no officers in the building knew why I was been held captive. He did know that this case was been dealt with at a very high level and that
I could be there for a very long period of time.
The building where I was held was called the 'Majors Cellâ; essentially it was the administrative headquarter for the whole of
Baghdad Airport. The boss of the Airport had a office nearby and I saw him each day. His name was Lt Col Shawn Malone. His deputy was Sgt Major David Kantor who spoke with me occasionally.
After 5 days I was allowed a shower. Under armed guard I was taken to the top of the building and was made to take my clothes off. One soldier poured water over me while other pointed their weapons at me.
It was such a bizarre sight, getting naked on top of Baghdad Airport,in full view of everyone who happened to be passing by.
I read the US Military newspaper called âStars and Stripesâ, full of war related news and stories from Iraq. When I read an Associated
Press article about the capture and release of the Turkish Special Forces I was very shocked for two reasons. First, I was now very clear that the capture of my Turkish friends had created a huge
political problem between Turkey and the USA and that the Whitehouse itself had become involved in the matter. Secondly, the article DID NOT MENTION THE CAPTURE OF ME. This outraged me. I was very angry indeed. The Americans failed to tell the media that they had captured me. Why? Were they in enough trouble already for capturing the Turks?
Would they not be able to stand the ridicule from the world if people knew theyâd captured an innocent man looking for his daughter. The next time the British Diplomat came I expressed my concern.
Everything that happened I wrote down (as it happened) and have the FULL RECORD of every days events including the names of all the soldiers and officers who dealt with me.
Suddenly a big opportunity presented itself. The Diplomat asked if I had any friends I wanted to phone in the UK. I gave him the name of a friend who also works for a UK News Agency thinking that he would be able to tell the worlds media. I knew that if the media knew the general public would be outraged and this may help my release.
Several days later he came back and told me that the story was about to break in the UK. I was delighted. After that things began to happen and I was released on July 26th without a single word of apology from anyone. With two fully armed UK military bodyguards I was driven in an armour plated Land Cruiser to the British Embassy in
Baghdad where I stayed for 6 days until my flight back to the UK on a military charter flight.

Below is a footnote, included only in letters to Tony Blair and two UK MP's.

When in Turkey I received a letter written by the mother of my girlfriend. It said that Abla had been killed by a US bombing raid in north Iraq at the start at the war and that I should come to Iraq immediately to rescue my daughter. The bitter irony in this is that the father of my dead
girlfriend is a Whitehouse Politician; we could say therefore that an American politician has been in-directly responsible for killing his
own daughter.

Several of the Special Forces have offered to help me find my daughter. This is a wonderful gesture and I am very happy about this. Even
though the Americans treated me so badly they have NEVER offered to help me find my daughter. After everything that has happened I would not feel safe with American soldiers searching for my daughter; imagine the mistakes they could make. I would feel very confident with Turkish Special Forces helping me. When I come to Turkey in a few weeks, I hope to meet with the Government to seek help in finding Sajida. I will also go to
Washington to lobby the Whitehouse to help me find my missing daughter.

I liked Richard Webb, the British Diplomat, very much, but I didnât like what the British did to help me. Of course Britain didnât want to do anything to upset Amercia which is why a big fuss was not made of my capture. Imagine what would have happened if British soldiers captured an American citizen who was in Iraq looking for his
daughter! The story would be an international one for sure. I do not know what the Turkish Government knew of my capture but it will be
helpful when I meet them on my return to Ankara.

My Turkish friends did contact some media in Turkey and some internet sites did cover the story on 7th July (search on Michael Todd Irak
and you will find some stories). I am so very happy about this and want to thank them very much. The problem was that few people will
think I am the same Michael Todd that was in Ankara on TV and in the newspapers. The Turkish media reports said that a âBritish Businessmanâ had been captured with the Special Forces. I am not a businessman, I am a performance artist and writer. People would not think I was ths same person perhaps.

Within the next few days I will go to Washington DC in the USA to apply pressure on the US government. I expect that they now help me now to search for my daughter. I will seek meetings in the White House and have already seem my Member of Parliament in the UK for help. I am in contact with certain powerful Democrats who have promised to help me. I will also give press conferences in America and do my very best to let the American people know what there military did to me and my Turkish friends. After American I will return to Turkey where I will talk in detail to the media there and show many documents which I smuggled out of Iraq.
I have seen a Lawyer in the UK and am considering a law suit against George Bush if they refuse to assist me. I will also name the father of my girlfriend, the grandfather of my daughter. Before I do this I will meet him and seek an amicable solution to this situation.


So, where is my daughter and how much longer does she have to ask 'WHERES MY DADDY' ??????

I can be reached on mtodd ARROBA

'Long Live Truth And Those Who Strive For It'.

Michael Todd.
Colera camping CNT