Staff report

According to a story published last week in Newsweek, Mark R. Frerichs of Lombard, a U.S. government contractor, was kidnapped in Afghanistan on Jan. 31 by a group of militants aligned with the Taliban

The Newsweek story reports that Frerichs, 57, was kidnapped in the Afghanistan province of Khost in the southeastern part of the country that borders the Federally Administered Tribal Areas—an underdeveloped region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

According to Newsweek, “While no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, U.S. officials believe the Taliban-aligned Haqqani network orchestrated the operation.”

In a statement to the Daily Herald released through a family friend, Art Frerichs, Mark’s father, said, “I’m a person of deep faith. I also have deep faith in President Donald Trump, the FBI and our military officials to help release the safe return of my son.”

Art Frerichs owns Art’s Master Mechanics Auto Repair in Lombard. 

“He is a great guy. I love him. I hope everything works out. I’m not real happy about this. Emotionally, it’s been very upsetting,” Frerichs told Fox 32 News Chicago in an interview Feb. 6.

Listed on his Linkedin page as managing director, eastern sector, of ILS (International Logistical Support), a U.S. government contractor, Mark Frerichs also was a former U.S. Navy deep sea diver (deep sea marine salvage, recovery and harbor clearance). Additionally, he has lived, worked and consulted in Iraq, Sudan and other conflict zones for more than 10 continuous years. He has been traveling to Afghanistan on a regular basis since 2012.

U.S. officials have indicated they are not sure how Frerichs, a graduate of Glenbard East High School, was kidnapped. An FBI-led multi-agency task force—the Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell—is reportedly leading the efforts to find Frerichs. 

Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, said in a statement Feb. 6 (published in the Daily Herald) that “I am aware of reports that an American citizen from Illinois has been taken captive in Afghanistan. My staff and I are working closely with the State Department and (Department of Defense) to gather more information. My heart goes out to the family of this individual and we will all work hard to get him released.”

 

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