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CNN) -- Three chilling photographs on an Islamist Web site appear to show the beheaded body of American hostage Paul Johnson, who was kidnapped a week ago by Islamic militants connected with al Qaeda.

Abdel Aziz Al-Muqrin, the self-proclaimed military leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for Johnson's kidnapping and the death of another American on the same day on behalf of a group called the Al Falluja Squadron.

On Tuesday, he threatened to kill Johnson in 72 hours unless the Saudi government released al Qaeda prisoners and all Westerners left the Arabian Peninsula.

"We gave you the deadline but you did not respect it," a statement on the Web site said. "This is what we promised to do."

A Saudi security source said, "From our end, we cannot confirm this. We have not found a body yet."

Earlier Friday, Al Arabiya as well as CNN had aired an emotional appeal from Johnson's wife.

U.S. and Saudi investigators concluded an intensive meeting Friday, Saudi officials said, as security forces spread all over the kingdom searching for Johnson.

Johnson, 49, a Lockheed Martin Corp. employee, had been kidnapped Saturday in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. He helped maintain U.S.-built Apache helicopter gunships for the Saudi military.

Al Falluja Squadron says it has ties to al Qaeda.

The State Department has urged all Americans to leave Saudi Arabia, but Johnson's sister, Donna Mayeux, said in a CNN interview that her brother "always felt safe in Saudi Arabia."

"My brother is an honorable man," she said. "He has always treated people with dignity and respect."
 

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As much as I admire the bravery of civilians like Johnson, the man obviously was keen on being a friend of the arabs, and learning about Islam, but in reality he was a sitting duck in a very dangerous location.
In all consciousness I could never take that kind of risk with a family waiting for me at home. It's not fair to them.
He seemed to have the same idealism and hopes of promise as Nick Berg and met the same fate. Sad, very sad. :(
 

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DaleB said:
As much as I admire the bravery of civilians like Johnson, the man obviously was keen on being a friend of the arabs, and learning about Islam, but in reality he was a sitting duck in a very dangerous location.
In all consciousness I could never take that kind of risk with a family waiting for me at home. It's not fair to them.
He seemed to have the same idealism and hopes of promise as Nick Berg and met the same fate. Sad, very sad. :(
I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that his wife was a Saudi, and he has lived there for the past 12 years. Apparantly, it was his choice to live there with his family. We may never know the real reason for his living there.
I agree, it would not be my choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's too bad, alot of ancient history in Arabia, Iraq, etc.

Not in my lifetime, will I be caught travelling that way.
 

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Maik said:


I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that his wife was a Saudi, and he has lived there for the past 12 years. Apparantly, it was his choice to live there with his family. We may never know the real reason for his living there.
I agree, it would not be my choice.
Let me rephrase that, I, me, could never do it with a family here. Taking my SO with me is unthinkable.
 

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