Jessica Lynch's rescue was facilitated by information disclosed to the U.S. Marines by an Iraqi named "Mohammed" (his last name is being withheld to protect him from Iraqi reprisals). Mohammed's wife worked as a nurse at the hospital in Nasiriyah where the captured 19-year-old supply clerk was being held. He resolved to help Lynch when he saw her slapped around by a black-clad Fedayeen Saddam officer.

A 32-year old Iraqi lawyer who learned English at Basra University, Mohammed spoke to Lynch and then walked several miles to find a U.S. Marine position outside Nasiriyah. He approached with his hands up. The Marines were on a hair-trigger because of recent incidents in the area in which the Fedayeen had feigned surrender and then fired on the Americans.

"What do you want?" a Marine asked.
"I have important information about woman soldier in hospital," he replied.

That got their attention. While he was trying to contact the Marines, Mohammed's wife took their child and went to stay with their family. That night, the Fedayeen Saddam showed up at his house and ransacked the place, searching for something.

The Marines convinced Mohammed to provide some reconnaissance. Mohammad returned to the hospital, observed it for several days, and spoke to Lynch, then went back to the Marines. Mohammed and his wife sketched the facility, and provided the numbers and habits of the Iraqi soldiers guarding the facility, and verified that a helicopter could land on the roof.

On April 1, 2003, U.S. commandos rescued Lynch and recovered several bodies from the hospital, which may be the remains of U.S. soldiers missing in action.

Mohammed, his wife, and their child are now (April 4) in a refugee camp in Umm Qasr. Mohammed is a Shiite, born in the holy city of Najaf. "In the future when Saddam Hussein is down," he told reporters, "I will go back to Nasiriyah."


  • CNN:
  • Peter Baker, The Washington Post (as reported at