While on the subject of kidnappings and other such criminal activity in Iraq, check out this news from Reuters:
During Saddam Hussein's regime, women could dress less conservatively in the big cities and would not be punished, according to female activists.
But now women say they are no longer safe and decapitated female corpses have begun turning up in recent weeks with notes bearing the word "collaborator" pinned to their chests, according to Colonel Subhi al-Abdullilah, a senior police investigator...
Islamic militants have killed 20 women in the northern city of Mosul and a dozen more in Baghdad since the beginning of this year according to local authorities. All of the victims were women who were looking forward to a better future. They include three gynaecologists, two pharmacists and students.
In Latifiyah, some 25 kilometres south of Baghdad, Sunni radicals have pasted leaflets on the walls of shops, schools and mosques, prohibiting women from leaving their homes without the traditional abaya and banning them from using make-up. The warning says if they don't obey the laws they will be killed.
Eleven women have been killed in the area so far. Three bodies were found decapitated and the others were shot in the head, according to Major Quassim Yacoub, a senior officer at the local police station.
In November 2004, Amal al-Mamalachy, a well know women's rights activist and government adviser, was hit by 10 bullets and killed in Baghdad on her way to work. Her car was hit by a total of 160 bullets and many of her security guards shot dead in a ferocious attack.
In other incidents, Akilla al-Hashimia, a member of the interim government, was killed in October 2003. Nisreen al-Burawary, minister of public works, the only woman in the cabinet, survived an attack last year in which two of her bodyguards were killed. The bodyguards were also considered as activists and collaborators with US forces inside the country.
Margaret Hassan, the former director of the CARE International in Iraq, was kidnapped and killed in November 2004. Hassan was married to an Iraqi and had spent 30 years in the country working on humanitarian issues. Her unknown captors called for British troops to withdraw and for women in Iraqi prisons to be freed. She was the first foreign woman to be killed in Iraq since the conflict began in 2003.