DUBAI – An Arab television network aired a videotape Thursday of an American engineer apparently being held hostage in Iraq.
The Al Arabiya network reported the hostage worked for the Pentagon as a civilian employee. The network said the tape came from a group dubbed The Islamic Rage Squadrons (search).
The man being held hostage is believed to be Iraqi-American Aban Elias (search). A man claiming to be his brother, Kazwan Elias, spoke to reporters on Thursday outside his Denver home accompanied by his weeping mother.
"We were devastated. We're shocked," said Kazwan Elias, reacting to the videotape of his brother. His distraught, sobbing mother also made a few comments in Arabic.
Aban Elias, who was shown blindfolded in the 20-second segment, was said to have been kidnapped Monday, Al Arabiya (search) reported. In the footage, he identified himself and spoke English. He said he is an American citizen who lives in the Denver area.
"I am a civil engineer working here in Baghdad," he said, adding that he worked for the Pentagon.
He appealed to Islamic associations to work for his release.
"I was kidnapped and I call upon Muslim organizations to interfere to release me," Elias said.
The family had just heard from him Sunday or Monday, when he contacted them to check in on their father, who had broken his leg, according to his brother.
"He looked tired. He had a yellow face. He's probably in shock. He probably wants to get released," Kazwan Elias said.
It was a relative in Jordan who alerted the U.S. government to the reported kidnapping, and the State Department remains in touch with the Elias family, spokesman Richard Boucher told Fox News.
Boucher had no further details on the case, and said without a Privacy Act waiver, there's not much he is allowed to disclose anyway.
Fox News' Catherine Donaldson-Evans, Teri Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.