After years of suggesting that his kidnapping was a terrorist plot, U.S. officials now believe that individuals working with the government of Iran delivered pictures and video of Robert Levinson — the ex-FBI agent who disappeared in Kish, Iran, in 2007 — to Levinson's family in 2011. Today Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of the Associated Press published five of those photos to accompany their report on the failed collaboration between the United States and Iran to bring Levinson home. (Their long-dysfunctional partnership broke down after U.S. officials began to suspect their Iranian collaborators were lying about their search for Levinson.)
The photos are harrowing: sent to Levinson's family in April 2011 via an anonymous email account, they depict a heavily-bearded Levinson dressed in an orange jumpsuit much like those worn by detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In each Levinson holds up a different placard: "I AM HERE IN GUANTANAMO DO YOU KNOW WHERE IT IS?; "4 TH YEAR... You Cant or you don't want...?; "THIS IS THE RESULT OF 30 YEARS SERVING FOR USA"; "WHY YOU CAN NOT HELP ME"; and "HELP ME":
These aren't the first images of Levinson to emerge from his captivity: he was previously seen in a disturbing hostage video that appeared in December 2011. Levinson's wife, Christine, decided to release the photos above because she feels that the U.S. government hasn't done enough to investigate her husband's whereabouts.