Metzger Fallout

by Nathan Hamm on 9/27/2006 · 11 comments

Stars & Stripes reports that troops are confined to base in the wake of the mysterious disappearance and reappearance of Jill Metzger.

For the first extended period since Americans built the base in 2001, because of Metzger’s experience and her alleged abduction, going off-base is now forbidden.

“What happened that night … that’s an unknown right now,” said Capt. Anna Carpenter, base spokeswoman. “Was it against her will or by her will? If was against her will, was she targeted because she’s a woman, or a western woman, or because she’s in the military?”

What happened must be determined before troops can go back to the capital of Bishkek, Carpenter said, so the command can assess the threat and if necessary institute new procedures and policies to prevent a similar event.

Capt. Carpenter also said that other Americans need to know the results of the investigation into Metzger’s disappearance to know whether or not they are at risk.

If the Americans I saw and spoke to around Bishkek are any indication, they are all pretty confident they are not at risk. And of those with whom the subject of Metzger came up, only a couple seemed to buy the kidnapping story. (Though considering their employers, I did not find that surprising.)

Anyhow, here’s one of the fliers that was up around Bishkek regarding her disappearance. Click for a larger copies.

Metzger Flier

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Laurence September 27, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Thank you Nathan, that’s very interesting news…

Brian September 27, 2006 at 3:24 pm

I suppose it does seem like a prudent move. You’ve got to give your own soldier the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise, and that means that they have to assume that she may have been kidnapped. With that said, there seems to be no evidence that she really was kidnapped other than her own allegations, but there does seem to be a bit of evidence that she actually wasn’t.

Amira September 27, 2006 at 7:42 pm

If she wasn’t really kidnapped, I hope she says so soon, because it’s miserable to be stuck on base outside Bishkek. The article says the troops “had the best of both worlds-” the reporter must not have talked to a lot of people, because all the time we were there the troops were pretty restricted in what they were allowed to go off base for.

And if she was kidnapped, I hope they can sort out a motive quickly. I’d really be surprised if this incident means that the troops are in more danger there than they thought.

Joshua Foust September 28, 2006 at 9:07 am

I wonder if she really was abducted, it had anything to do with the continuing wave of bride kidnapping and woman abuse in Kyrgyzstan?

KJ September 28, 2006 at 9:30 pm

The whole affair makes the US look plain stupid. First, who buys this story of a bomb planted in the pocket of this woman’s jeans. Come on- she was under 100lbs and I’m 99% sure she was wearing tight jeans that would make the bomb about the size of a postage stamp to fit in her pocket. But, yet it seems like the Air Force is buying it. The lack of cooperation with the Kyrgyz side investigating the incident also created unnecesary tension. I hope they court-martial her on the charge of making us Yanks look like a jack-asses!

BTW: to the commenter that said she was a soldier. She’s not a soldier! She’s in the Air Force, which makes her an Airman or simply- service member. Don’t insult the Army with her!

Mark September 29, 2006 at 10:54 am

Anybody able to decipher the writing in the lower right corner?

Basmach October 2, 2006 at 1:57 am

“Anybody able to decipher the writing in the lower right corner? ”

It’s written in Kyrgyz language in cyrillic script. Picture being low resolution, cannot make it out. Only recognized for sure the verb to be.

mark October 2, 2006 at 7:29 am

Did you click on the picture? It will give you a larger image. Thanks.

Basmach October 2, 2006 at 8:50 pm

Clicked on thumbnail this time. Actually, now I see that it’s something written in Cyrillic script, but not clear what language. Just some gibberish, really. Means nothing. Looks like some kid’s prank.

B Diddy March 13, 2007 at 1:27 pm

I used to work with Jill Metzgar when she was a Lt at DMAFB in Tucson, AZ and I will be the first to tell anyone that if she says this happened, it happened!

Boratino March 14, 2007 at 1:53 am

Bomb in the pocket. Yeah. And I saw flying cows yesterday. Holy Mazoola.

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