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Missing American sought in Saudi Arabia

Powell: U.S. is 'worried about the individual kidnapped'


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Paul M. Johnson Jr. was identified by his son as the man whose picture, above, appears on a jihadist Web site
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U.S. and Saudi authorities search for a kidnapped American.

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(CNN) -- Saudi authorities are searching for a missing American whom al Qaeda militants claim to have kidnapped after killing another U.S. citizen in Riyadh.

U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said he had no details about the claim on a Web site from a group called the Falluja Squadron, which identified the man. The department said it learned of the missing man on Saturday when the family contacted the embassy.

The missing man was identified as Paul M. Johnson Jr. by his son, Paul Johnson III, of Port Saint Joe, Florida.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday he was "worried about the individual kidnapped" and that the United States was "working with the Saudis to recover him safely."

"It's a troubling time in Saudi Arabia," he said, "and I know the Saudis are doing everything they can to deal with this terrorist threat."

Johnson told CNN affiliate WESH-TV that his father was the man pictured on a jihadist Web site and that the elder Johnson had worked in the Middle East since 1992.

He also said neither the State Department nor Lockheed Martin Corp., the missing man's employer, had contacted him about the disappearance.

"I'm waiting on the State Department to give me an answer [and] his company," Johnson said. "You know, this should not have happened. This could have been very preventable."

Members of Johnson's family, including his son, mother, brother and sister, were planning to gather Monday in New Jersey, where Johnson's mother and brother live and where friends have placed yellow ribbons on trees.

"Keep praying for us," said Jodie Johnson, his daughter-in-law. His wife is still in Saudi Arabia.

The man was reported missing shortly after gunmen killed Kenneth Scroggs, an American working for a British-Saudi company, at his home in Riyadh's upscale Malaz neighborhood.

A U.S. official said the FBI is involved in Saudi Arabia in the investigations into the killings of Scroggs and another American, Robert Jacobs, who was killed early last week.

A statement on the Web site identified the man that the Falluja Squadron said it had kidnapped, posting a driver's license, passport, business card and other documents. The statement described him as a system engineering "specialist" for the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

"We have our legal right to treat them [hostages] the same way they treat our people," the statement said. "We will publish more details about the man kidnapped and explain the mujahedeen's demands."

The group added, "We will continue this determination in the same road toward Jihad and for supporting our brothers in Palestine, Iraq, Cuba and everywhere."

Powell said Sunday that, "We're very sad over the loss of American life."

Tape purportedly shows killing

Meanwhile, the same Web site posted a video purporting to show the killing of Jacobs, an American worker who Saudi authorities said was gunned down Tuesday at his home in Riyadh. CNN has not confirmed the authenticity of the video, and the victim's face is never shown.

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Paul Johnson III says his father is missing in Saudi Arabia.

Jacobs, a 63-year-old employee of Vinnell/Arabia, a subsidiary of defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., was gunned down in the eastern Riyadh neighborhood of al-Khaleej, which contains several residential compounds for Westerners, according to Saudi police and Jacobs' company.

The one-minute video starts with Arabic text over a black background that reads "The murder of the Jewish American Robert Jacob, who worked for the Vinnell espionage firm." Below, in English, it reads "Robert Jacob."

Scroggs was shot in the back as he parked his car at his home in central Riyadh, Saudi police said. The U.S. Embassy identified him but provided no other information.

Reacting to Scroggs' killing and other recent terror attacks, U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James C. Oberwetter issued a statement of condolence to his family and others affected in recent weeks.

Oberwetter said "those Americans who choose to remain here should exercise the utmost caution as they go about their daily lives."

CNN's Caroline Faraj in Dubai contributed to this report.


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