Early in the Iraq War high profile abductions seemed common. However thinking back they were few and far between. That did not keep the American public from being riveted to video of contractors, soldiers and aid workers begging for lives. Usually surrounded by very scary looking people in ski masks. It was a compelling story because it had a face.
Now abductions have taken a far more frightening turn. CNN is reporting there have been 35 abductions in the past two days. So far these kidnappings have not been followed by video demands. The people simply disappear. In bunches. One of the kidnap gangs took 10 people at once from an electronic store.
These may not get as much play as the earlier kidnappings because there is no tragic face. So far there are only bodies that are found on roadsides days later.
Reports say the kidnappers travel in packs, dressed like Iraq police commandos. They make no demands, only snatch and kill.
It appears that instead of hostage takers, we are dealing with death squads. It does not make the loss of earlier hostages any less tragic but it does make the situation more frightening by a magnitude.