By the third day of negotiating with his son’s kidnappers, Rasul Amoore had sold his car, withdrawn his bank savings and borrowed money from his siblings and friends to raise funds for the 6-year-old’s release.

Even then he was able to gather only $8,000 of the $50,000 demanded by Ahmed’s captors. The kidnappers eventually dropped their ransom to $20,000 — still more than twice the amount at the disposal of Amoore — after the confectionery shop owner in east Baghdad pleaded that their information about his supposed wealth was untrue.

Amoore, angered and mentally tormented by the kidnappers, decided to gamble with his son’s life.

"Just kill him," said the father of four during a heated telephone negotiation with the lead captor. "Just kill him and I’ll consider that I’ve given his soul as a gift to God."

Four hours later the kidnappers released Ahmed unharmed, but only after receiving $10,000.

Kidnapping has overtaken burglaries, robberies, car theft and other crimes to become the biggest criminal activity in many areas of Baghdad. Insurgents and gangsters are increasingly using abducted children to raise funds for terrorism operations and personal wealth.

Read more from the Times of London.