BAGHDAD, Iraq – A man believed to be an American contractor who was kidnapped while working in Baghdad was shown in a video broadcast on Al-Jazeera (search) television Wednesday.
The station didn't broadcast the tape's audio, but said the hostage asked the U.S. government to start a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance. It also said the man asked the U.S. government to begin withdrawing from Iraq and to save his life.
The U.S. Embassy said the man in the video appeared to be the same worker abducted on Monday while working on a water treatment plant near Baghdad. Embassy spokesman Bob Callahan said the man's name was Jeffrey Ake. Officials later confirmed to FOX News that it was indeed Ake, whose family was notified of the abduction before the tape aired.
The tape aired on Al-Jazeera showed a man sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns toward him. He was holding what looked like a passport and a photo identification.
The U.S. Embassy spokesman told FOX News that the identity documents, including an Indiana driver's license displayed on the video, do match the name of the individual they say was kidnapped. Embassy officials still said they have received no claim of responsibility for the abduction or any demands independent of the video.
Ake, 47, is a northern Indiana businessman who serves as president and CEO of Equipment Express (search), whose products include water bottle filling machines. A photo of Ake on his company's Web site appears to be the same person shown in the Al-Jazeera tape. South Bend, Ind., television stations also reported the man was Ake, who lives in LaPorte.
A man who answered the phone at the company declined comment to FOXNews.com and FOX News Channel when asked if the man in the video was in fact the company's president. A person answering the telephone at Ake's home also declined comment.
Outside his home, police officers kept the media at bay, threatening to arrest anyone who stepped onto the property.
LaPorte Police Chief David Gariepy spent about 10 minutes inside the Ake home late Wednesday morning and then told reporters outside that the family was following the FBI's advice in not commenting.
Gariepy asked for those in the community about 25 miles west of South Bend to "hope and pray and wait."
A yellow ribbon was tied around a tree outside Ake's one-story brick house. An American flag fluttered on a pole from the house.
"I believe it is a terrible situation for the family and we have to keep them in our thoughts and pray for his safe return," Gariepy said. "It devastates all of us as Americans when someone from our country is involved in something like this."
During an off-camera gaggle with reporters on Wednesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about the hostage tape. McClellan said the administration is keeping in touch with the family of the captive contract worker, but he said there would be no negotiating with the kidnappers.
"Any time there's American hostage, it's a high priority for the United States," he said generically. "Our position is well known when it comes to negotiating. Obviously this is a sensitive matter."
More than 200 foreigners have been taken captive in Iraq in the past year, and more than 30 have been killed.
Ake's company has been working as part of the effort to rebuild Iraq. In 2003, Equipment Express built a machine that fills cooking oil into containers to be used for Iraqi residents. The company also built a system to provide water bottles to be sold in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004.
It was not immediately clear why Ake was in Iraq or how long he had been in the country.
Ake is one of at least 13 Americans who have been kidnapped or have gone missing in the past year in Iraq. At least five have been killed. Nicholas Berg (search), a 26-year-old businessman from West Chester, Pennsylvania, was the first to be kidnapped in April. He was beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's (search) Al Qaeda in Iraq group.
One of the Americans still being held was kidnapped last month along with three Romanian journalists. The Romanian government said Wednesday it was in direct contact with their abductors, and that the four were being treated well.
Ake told the South Bend Tribune in an interview last year that his company had been successful because instead of selling the individual machinery to bottle liquids, it sells complete packaging lines.
"We are a very entrepreneurial company," Ake said. "We do a lot of exporting, a lot of our business is in overseas markets. We serve a lot of different industries."
FOX News' Bret Baier, Nick Simeone and The Associated Press contributed to this report.