Soldiers’ Deaths Were Revenge, Al Qaeda Claims
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Insurgents linked to Al Qaeda released footage yesterday of the mutilated bodies of two American servicemen who were captured and killed in Iraq last month.
The group claimed that the men had been murdered in revenge for the rape and murder of a teenage girl by other members of their platoon.
The U.S. military described the images as “barbaric.”
Although senior Iraqi officials previously said the bodies of the two privates — Thomas Tucker, 25, and Kristian Menchaca, 23 — showed signs of torture, the video was the first indication of the full extent of the cruelty they suffered.
One soldier had been decapitated. Several unidentified figures were shown stepping on the corpses, which were of Western-looking men in camouflage uniform.