Steven Vincent

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Steven C. Vincent, 49, an American freelance journalist from New York's East Village who had "been staying in Basra for several months working on a book about the history of the city," was found dead August 3, 2005, "less than three miles north of the city center." "An officer in the Basra police department said Mr. Vincent had been working on an article about the role of policemen in the recent assassinations of former Baath Party officials." [1][2]

According to a "witness who spoke on the condition of anonymity," Vincent and his female interpreter and close friend Nooriya Tuaiz, 30, also known as Noor al-Khal, were "kidnapped [at gunpoint] around 7 p.m. Tuesday [August 2nd] on a central street in downtown Basra by at least two men dressed in police uniforms and driving a police sedan." [3][4]

A hospital spokesman related that Vincent "had been shot three times in the chest ... and the body was dumped in the street. His hands were tied in front with plastic wire; there were bruises on his face and right shoulder, and a strand of red tape that had apparently been used to blindfold him hung loosely around his neck." Tuaiz was seriously wounded. [5][6]

"Unlike most reporters working in Iraq," Vincent traveled without guards and was the "first American journalist to be attacked and killed during the war." [7]


"This is to mourn the murder of the free lance journalist Steven Vincent, a victim of the Sadrist thugs (that is to say, the Iranian-sponsored terrorists) in Basra. His crime was to have written about the fanatics in Basra, who are attempting to create a mini-islamic republic in the south, to the shameful indifference of the British forces and Coalition commanders, and the so-called Left in this country and Europe. If there is ever a day of reckoning, those opinion makers who have remained silent in the face of the monstrous terrorist campaign against the Iraqi people will find it quite impossible to explain their de facto collusion with the terrorists." --Michael Ledeen, National Review, August 3, 2005.

Critical of Basra Police Force and British Military

"In an opinion column published July 31 [2005] in The New York Times, Vincent wrote that Basra's police force had been heavily infiltrated by members of Shiite political groups, including those loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. ... Vincent quoted an unidentified Iraqi police lieutenant as saying that some police were behind many of the assassinations of former Baath Party members that have taken place in Basra. ... Vincent was also critical of the British military, which is responsible for security in Basra, for turning a blind eye to abuses of power by Shiite extremists in the city." [8]


On his weblog In the Red Zone, Vincent is described as "a freelance investigative journalist and art critic whose work had appeared in major newspapers and magazines including the Wall Street Journal, Harper's, and the Christian Science Monitor." [9]

Vincent "spent several weeks travelling about Iraq [in 2004], alone and anonymous (under cover as a Yugoslav journalist)." [10]

"In the Red Zone"

Vincent's recently published book In the Red Zone: A Journey Into the Soul of Iraq is an account of life in a post-Saddam Iraq.

  • "An eyewitness of the 9/11 attacks, Steven Vincent went to Iraq to experience the daily realities of life and death in the crossfire of the war on terror. His report is essential for understanding America's enemies and allies in the critical but confusing struggle against radical Islam." --Jeff Harrell, Shape of Days, December 7, 2004.
  • "Steven Vincent journeyed twice to Iraq, paying his own way, traveling without security or official connections, living by his wits. His four months in the war zone included a foray into the infamous Mosque of Ali in Najaf, a confrontation with Ayatollah Sistani's bodyguards, a brush with death in a Karbala bombing, meetings with assorted Western 'peace activists,' and run-ins with Iraqi 'authorities' who alternately suspected him of being a CIA agent and a terrorist." --Northern Alliance Radio, November 15, 2004.
  • Steven Vincent, In the Red Zone: Into the Soul of Iraq, Spence Publishing (November 2004), ISBN 1890626570.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

By Steven Vincent

Part 1: "Why so many American’s don’t get the Sunni opposition," December 13, 2004.
Part 2: "America the Omnipotent. Many Iraqis overestimated U.S. capabilities," December 14, 2004.
Part 3: "The Oppressive Occupier? This wasn’t how the liberation was supposed to go," December 15, 2004.
Part 4: "Rage Against the Foreigner. Dishonor propelled the Sunni insurgency," December 16, 2004.
Part 5: "The Wrong Words. Moral and linguistic clarity are crucial in this conflict," December 17, 2004.

Articles & Commentary