Entries in Missing (38)


Prominent Syrian Blogger Disappears in Damascus

George Doyle/Stockbyte(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Amina Abdallah, a blogger who has gained recognition during the Syrian uprising for her blog "A Gay Girl in Damascus," has disappeared.

Abdallah's cousin wrote on the blog that Amina was taken Monday by three men in their 20s "assumed to be members of one of the security services or the Baath Party militia."

"One of the men then put his hand over Amina's mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad," Rania Ismail wrote.

Abdallah describes her blog as "An out Syrian lesbian's thoughts on life, the universe and so on..." --  this, in a country where homosexuality is not just taboo, but illegal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Osama Bin Laden Son Missing From Raid, Pakistan Says

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) -- One of Osama bin Laden's sons went missing in the midst of the Navy SEAL raid that took the life of the al Qaeda leader more than a week ago, Pakistani security officials told ABC News on Tuesday.

The officials said bin Laden's three wives, who are all in Pakistani custody, said that one of bin Laden's sons has not been seen since the raid. The son has not been identified, but Pakistani investigators agreed that it appeared someone was missing from the sprawling compound, the officials said.

U.S. officials said that one of bin Laden's sons, Khalid, was killed in the raid. It is not known if another son, Hamza, was in the compound at the time of the raid, though his mother is reportedly one of the wives in custody. The U.S. has denied the SEALs took anyone from the compound other than bin Laden's body.

The U.S. initially faced resistance from Pakistani authorities when investigators asked for access to bin Laden's widows, but a U.S. official said Monday Pakistani official promised to make the meeting happen sometime soon. One senior Pakistani security official told ABC News there is still no timeframe for that meeting, however.

Bin Laden, who was married five times, is survived by at least 18 children. None of the sons, however, are in line to succeed their father for leadership of al Qaeda.

"Unlike a lot of Arab governments that are dynastic," said former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, "al Qaeda has not been and his sons have never played a real operational role of any significance. They did not appear to be groomed for leadership roles in al Qaeda."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Bodies Found Amid Wreckage of Air France Flight 447

HO/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Bodies from Air France Flight 447, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean almost two years ago, have been found by aquatic robots, and will be brought to the surface within the next few weeks, officials said.

There are 178 bodies still unaccounted for of the 228 who perished. Fifty-one bodies were recovered in the days following the accident on May 31, 2009, shortly after Flight 447 took off from Rio de Janeiro en route to Paris.

Most of the passengers were Brazilian, French and German. An American couple, Anne and Michael Harris, who was living in Brazil and have family in Louisiana, was also onboard.

The Airbus A330 jetliner began to experience electrical problems shortly after takeoff and read the plane's speed incorrectly. Several hours later, the plane could no longer be spotted on radar. It plunged into the ocean, with most of the fuselage still intact.

Investigators hope to find the plane's two black box flight recorders, which would help them piece together what caused the crash.

A French magistrate recently began investigating Airbus to see if the company could be charged with involuntary manslaughter. Judge Sylvie Zimmerman is overseeing the probe. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, Airbus could face criminal charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former FBI Agent, Missing for Four Years, Could Be Alive in Southwest Asia

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- New evidence has surfaced that former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who went missing on a popular Iranian resort island nearly four years ago, may still be alive, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday.

"We have received recent indications that Bob is being held somewhere in southwest Asia," Clinton said in a brief statement.

Clinton provided no details on how the information was obtained or where exactly Levinson might be. But her statement marks the first public claim that the U.S. has discovered evidence Levinson could still be alive since his disappearance and the Levin family said they are "tremendously encouraged" by it.

"It has been almost four years since I have seen my beloved husband Robert Levinson," Christine Levinson wrote Thursday on the website "Our family is tremendously encouraged by the news Bob is alive but remains concerned for his safety and well being.

"Our seven children, our two grandchildren, and I await the day we will be reunited," she said.

Clinton did not give any indication who may be holding Levinson, but asked the government of Iran for help in rescuing him.

"As the Government of Iran has previously offered its assistance in this matter, we respectfully request the Iranian government to undertake humanitarian efforts to safely return and reunite Bob with his family," she said. "We would appreciate the Iranian government's efforts in this matter."

A spokesman for the FBI was similarly vague with regard to the new information.

"This is an ongoing investigation. What is important is that we work to bring Bob Levinson home safely. His family misses him dearly and we remain concerned about his health given his struggle with diabetes," the spokesman said.

The U.S. State Department has repeatedly called on Iran to help locate Levinson, but has never said they believe him to be in Iran. One U.S. official briefed on the case told ABC News Thursday investigators do not believe he is there, despite one senator's claim and WikiLeaks documents that support the theory.

During Secretary Clinton's confirmation hearing in January 2009, Senator Bill Nelson, a current member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence, said flatly, "We think he is being held by the government of Iran in a secret prison."

The Telegraph of London newspaper reported last month on a secret U.S. diplomatic cable, posted online public by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, that quotes an unidentified escaped prisoner who says he saw Levinson's name on a prison door in Iran.

The individual, who had been rounded up after the 2009 protests, is quoted as saying he saw the name "B. LEVINSON" on a door frame.

According to the Telegraph, the cable states, "He said that at the time he did not know who Levinson was and only after his release did he use the search engine Google to find that Levinson was a missing American citizen."

The cable says the prisoner was unable to provide current information about Levinson's well-being, but described the prison's terrible conditions and said it had the "smell of blood."

Levinson was last seen on March 9, 2007 on Iran's Kish Island where he traveled to work for a private investigative firm. He had left the FBI 10 years earlier. U.S. authorities say he was last seen checking into a hotel for a meeting.

For years, Iran has resisted American requests to investigate Levinson's disappearance, but they did allow his wife and son to travel to Iran in December 2007 to look into the matter. Iranian officials have said they have no evidence Levinson even entered the country.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in September 2010 he had no idea where Levinson might be.

"I think we should ask that question from the FBI," Ahmadinejad told CNN's Larry King. "How am I supposed to know? There are many individuals who come to our country and leave. He came and he left, as usual."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing American Sailors Found Alive and Well Near Philippines

File photo. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) – After a search that lasted more than 63 hours and covered 122,600 nautical miles, a boat containing five Americans has been located off the coast of the Philippines.

The missing boat, known as The Pineapple, made contact with land late Saturday night. The husband of one of the missing boaters was called by his wife once her cell phone was able to get reception. The boat was unable to make contact before that because after traveling through a storm, the boat lost radio contact and suffered a broken rudder. The Coast Guard says the boat was never in danger of sinking.

Two Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft, two Navy P-3 Orion aircraft, two Air Force C-12 aircraft, and the Coast Guard Cutter Sequoia were involved in the search efforts.

"This was a tremendous international multi-service search effort that covered an expansive area of open ocean," said Capt. Thomas Sparks, U.S. Coast Guard Guam Sector Commander.

"I'm elated for the family and friends of the Pineapple, but compelled to point out that this voyage was made without taking basic, common-sense precautions. The vessel did not have long distance communications or emergency distress equipment, and a comprehensive float plan was not filed," Sparks said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


US Military Joins Search for Missing American Boaters

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(MANILA, Philippines) -- The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force have now joined the search for a missing sailboat carrying five Americans.

The crew left Guam for the Filipino island of Cebu on Jan. 6. The 38-foot catamaran was scheduled to arrive last week.

Helicopters  scanned the Philippine Sea from above, while a Coast Guard ship searched waters below.

A friend of the boat's captain says he had more than 35 years of experience. The licensed captain was headed to the Philippines for a routine boat delivery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Five Americans Bound for the Philippines Missing

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MANILA, Philippines) -- The Philippine Coast Guard is searching for a missing sailboat carrying five Americans.

The 38-foot twin-hulled catamaran, The Pineapple, left the Pacific island of Guam 15 days ago and was scheduled to arrive in the central Filipino island of Cebu Sunday.

Concerned relatives contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which conducted a search-and-rescue operation with their Filipino counterparts, Lt. Commander Armando Balilo said Friday.

"The weather has been rough out there with strong winds and high waves, so we're concerned," Balilo said.

Cebu is located about 1,400 miles west of Guam, a U.S. territory.  Heavy rains and rough seas have been reported in the area in recent weeks.

Balilo said four men and one woman are aboard the sailboat.  Their identities and hometowns have yet to be released.

The Philippines has dispatched two aircraft to help in the search.  Balilo said the Philippine Coast Guard has alerted all coast guard stations and asked all vessels in the Eastern Visayas region to help in the search.

The U.S. Coast Guard is also conducting a search. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Italian Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing American Balloonists

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(VIESTE, Italy) -- The Italian Coast Guard will continue the search for two missing American balloonists throughout the night and into well into Friday.

The couple has been missing since early Wednesday, when they disappeared over the Adriatic Sea.

U.S. and Croatian authorities are also participating in the search.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio.

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