MP HABBANIYAH, Iraq g. — Editor’s note: Marines from 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 captured three insurgents responsible for the kidnapping and detention of Jill Carroll, an American journalist for the Christian Science Monitor, May 19. Intelligence gleaned from that raid led to the capture of one more, by Marines from 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. This story was written shortly after, but held due to intelligence value. Jill Carroll since announced she will detail her captivity in an 11-part series. Only now can the story of those who captured her kidnappers be told. CAMP HABBANIYAH, Iraq – Jill Carroll’s kidnappers are now themselves locked up. Marines captured four members of an insurgent kidnapping cell responsible for the kidnapping of American journalist Jill Carroll of the Christian Science Monitor. Marines of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment captured and detained three members May 19, in a small village west of Fallujah. A fourth member of the same kidnapping cell was detained later by Marines of 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. Both battalions operated as part of Regimental Combat Team 5. Carroll was held hostage by insurgent captors for 82 days between January and March 2006. “A piece of intelligence came to our attention a month prior to May that the kidnap house might be in a certain area,” said 2nd Lt. J. H. Cusack, Scout-Sniper Platoon Commander, Headquarters and Support Company. But the information wasn’t enough for Marines to act upon. They needed more. One month went by before another clue gave them the green light. “We went out west of Fallujah and went off key indicators and identified some specific things that led us to believe this was the place,” Cusack explained. “Based on what we’d seen, we knew we had a small window of time to get this guy.” The next morning, Cusack rode with L Company’s personnel security detachment to return to search the house. They met enemy resistance on the way to the house. Two improvised explosive devices detonated near the convoy. “The lead vehicle got hit twice,” said Cpl. Estafanos Getahun, a scout-sniper with L Company PSD. “Getting there was more interesting than getting to the hit. It was beginning to look like a hard hit.” Sgt. Jeff Bell, a platoon sergeant assigned to Headquarters Platoon, Company L, said he didn’t know the mission would make headlines when they made it to the house. “Once I set foot in the front door, I was told what was actually going on in the house,” said the 27-year-old from Littleton, Colo. Marines didn’t go in guns blazing. They talked the owner into allowing them into the house. Once inside, they began to match key descriptions of the house given by Carroll to the residence. It became clear; they were on target. Marines gathered the family into one room while Marines searched the remaining rooms for evidence of Carroll’s detention. Every corner, every drawer, every shelf was searched. “We methodically went room-to-room and searched the cupboards, pulled everything out,” Bell said. “If it was there, it got searched.” Inside, they found a number of items that confirmed the identities of the insurgents, including incriminating documents and $3,600 in American paper currency. Descriptions of the house given by Carroll were a dead match for the home.


  1. Another excellent job by our Marines! They’re kinda like the Energizer bunny, damn cute and they just keep on going…….
    BTW Capt…”said the 27-year-old from Littleton, Colo.” Is there sumthin in the drinking water up there???? If so, instead of what’s on the market now, IT needs to be bottled and sold!!.

  2. You know, when my husband deployed with 1/25, I knew he was going to do big things. I just never imagined he’d be involved with really BIG things. I’m a proud woman. Thanks for the story.

  3. The guys that executed this mission are to be commended for their determination to see it through. Just totally Sierra Hotel. All due recognition needs to be rendered to those whom are responsible for the intelligence required to initiate this mission as well. (Of course I am prejudiced, My Marine has an Intelligence MOS.)
    The only thing that I find uncomfortable about
    this type of event, is the manner in which it illustrates how certain elements in our government and society at large expect our “men at arms” to perform as if they were the local police back here at home. I wouldn’t be surprise if we don’t hear a news report within the next several days that some Senator or ACLU champion of “Keeping America Safe and Free,” are bringing our Heroic Marines up on charges of discrimination, illegal surveillance, failure to secure a search warrant, failure to advise the “alleged terrorist/kidnappers” of their rights, torturing the poor unfortunate “suspects” by allowing them to stub their toes during transport and singing Joshua Beliles’ “Hadji Girl” all the way back to the detention center. Dirka, Dirka, Mohammed Jihad, Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah!!!!

  4. It’s amazing that she was able to remember so much and provide description of the house. Good for the Marines!
    GN – Capt B. grew up in Littleton 🙂

  5. This is stellar work on the part of the Marines, and I’m glad it has received such good press.
    I know Jill represented the Christian Science Monitor. Don’t know a lot about that org, but I’m hoping that her planned 11-part publication about her ordeal will not be the typical MSM sensationalized slant (remembering the French reporter, etc.) I always have great skepticism when reporters publish “volumes” about on ordeal that happened as a consequence of their job because it smacks of opportunism to me, but i remain hopeful that Jill’s will not be quite as “over the top” or turned into an emotional tear jerker. So I’ll try to keep an open mind as she writes her pieces.

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