Ex-FBI agent who vanished in Iran pleads for help in mysterious video

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, December 9, 2011 12:55 EDT
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Retired FBI agent Bob Levinson pleads for the U.S. to rescue him from unknown captors. Image: Screenshot via a video released by the kidnappers.
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In a case that’s gotten little media coverage, unknown captors have been holding retired FBI agent Robert Levinson hostage for the last five years, some believe in Iran. But a new video released on Friday looks like it may elevate the story to the level of a true international crisis.

“Help me,” a distressed Levinson can be seen saying, insisting that his diabetes medicine is running out and he doesn’t have much time left. “Thirty-three years of service to the United States deserves something. Please help me.”

Kidnappers have not made their demands clear, and for years now the U.S. has treated the issue as a diplomatic one, rather than a real hostage crisis.

The video released Friday morning was apparently sent to Levinson’s family last year, and the Associated Press saw it at the time but did not report on it for fear that it would complicate U.S. diplomatic efforts. The family posted the video online Friday morning on their personal website.

In an appeal to the kidnappers, his son David insists that “we are not part of any government, and we are not experts on the region.”

“No one can help us but you,” he said. “Please help us. We have tried contacting you, but you never responded.”

“Bob, I will continue to do everything I can to bring you home alive,” his wife says at the end of the video. “All I want is for our family to be whole again. We love you, we miss you every day, we will not abandon you.”

This video is from ABC News, broadcast Dec. 9, 2011.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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