Footage of three Romanian journalists kidnapped in Baghdad by an unknown group was broadcast by Al-Jazeera television on 30 March. The group said in the videotape that it was holding the journalists as well as a fourth person, later identified as Muhammad Munaf, an Iraqi-American who was working as the journalists' translator in Iraq.
Syrian businessman and Romanian citizen Omar Hayssam claimed on 29 March that he had received two calls from an unknown person who requested $4 million ransom for the hostages. Hayssam is reportedly the business partner of Munaf, who is under investigation in Romania for tax evasion and other offenses. The Mediafax news agency reported that Munaf paid part of the cost of the journalists' travel to Iraq and facilitated their meetings with Iraqi officials before their abduction.