The Family of American born Israeli MIA Zachary Baumel who was captured by Syrian forces in 1982 has filed a lawsuit in the against the Syrian government including Syrian President Bashar Assad for abduction and illegal imprisonment. The lawsuit was filed in Washington, DC Federal District Court under a provision in the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act which allows foreign states designated by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism to be sued in US courts for harm caused to American citizens by those countries. The provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act have been used successfully to reach Iranian assets in terror cases. This is the first time that the Syrian government is being sued under this statute, seeking a judgment against Syria, which would be collectable against its assets in the US.
“Over the years, a wealth of information has accrued that the Syrian Government is directly responsible in this case,” said Yona Baumel, Zack’s father. “Our aim is not to obtain a financial judgment, but to get access to the MIAs. By hitting the Syrians where it hurts, in their pocketbooks, we hope to obtain positive results where all other methods have failed.”
In March 2005, Baumel told WND that sources he had cultivated in Syria told him they visited his son that year at a Syrian military installation just north of the border with Iraq. Baumel was also given a book from a confidante of a family in Syria that has coded messages he says could have been written only by his son.
Baumel showed WND pages from the book, a 1999 novel titled “The Map of Love.” The lettering has been stained after extensive Israeli forensics testing, but a series of marks are visible under the letters “BAZMUTACUMKCEL” – ZACK BAUMEL MTUC.
The MTUC, Yona explained, came from an old family joke that outsiders would not be in a position to know.
“It had to have been written by Zack,” said Baumel. “It refers to an old joke he was told from a long time ago when his mother, whose maiden name was Miriam Turetsky or MT, was a kid. The other children would point at her head and say ‘it’s empty you see,’ or MTUC.”
Additionally, phrases throughout the book were underlined or circled, including “A child forsaken,” “I have hope” and “help me.”