Origins: On 1 February 2005, the Associated Press reported that Iraqi militants had claimed in a statement posted on a web site that they had taken an American soldier hostage and were threatening to behead him in 72 hours if the U.S. did not agree to release Iraqi prisoners:
The posting, on a Web site that frequently carried militants' statements, included a photo of what that statement said was an American soldier, wearing desert fatigues and seated on a concrete floor with his hands tied behind his back. The figure in the photo appeared stiff and expressionless, and the photo's authenticity could not be confirmed.
Perhaps there was good reason why the authenticity of the photo could not be confirmed. The image that accompanied the Associated Press article was captioned thusly:
This image of what appears to be a captured US soldier was posted on an Iraqi militant website, Tuesday Feb. 1, 2005. According to the website, the militants threatened to behead the hostage in 72 hours unless the Americans release Iraqi prisoners. The claim could not be verified.
Here's a side-by-side comparison of the "captured American" image and a picture of a "Special Ops" action figure named Cody manufactured by Dragon Models USA. Note the similarities in the faces, uniforms, and weapons displayed in the two photographs:
Here is their photo of the action figure in the box:
It looks like the same thing to me. I have not seen any sites that confirm that this "hostage" photo was actually on a miltant site...who knows....either way it was good for a chuckle...