Alan McMenemy's body recovered five years after Iraq kidnap

The BBC's Frank Gardner says the militants had already admitted Mr McMenemy was dead

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The British Embassy in Baghdad has confirmed that a body handed over to them is that of Alan McMenemy, who was kidnapped in Iraq in 2007.

Mr McMenemy, a security guard from Glasgow, was snatched along with three other guards and an IT expert.

The bodies of Jason Swindlehurst, Jason Creswell and Alec MacLachlan were returned in 2009. Peter Moore was released alive in 2009.

Mr McMenemy's widow said his family would be comforted by having him home.

'Draw comfort'

Roseleen McMenemy said: "Our families have suffered terrible uncertainty and distress over the past four years and eight months.

"We have worried about Alan every single minute of each waking day.

"We now know that we will shortly have Alan home again, this will allow us to properly grieve for him and we will draw some comfort from the fact that we have him home at last."

Analysis

This draws a line under Britain's longest running hostage crisis for a generation.

Alan McMenemy is the last of five British hostages who were kidnapped in 2007 to finally come home from Iraq. Only one has come home alive.

His family have had to wait far longer than the other hostage families, more than two years in their case.

He was kidnapped in broad daylight in the finance ministry in Baghdad in 2007 and he appeared in a hostage video.

His captors wanted a straight exchange. They wanted the Americans to release some militants that they had, the British government refused and one by one the bodyguards were all killed.

In the case of Alan McMenemy his captors said he died trying to escape and overpower his captors. For his family they will at last have some closure when his body comes home in the next few days.

Mr Moore said he had been told long ago that his fellow captives were dead. He said the handing over of the body would allow a degree of closure for Mr McMenemy's family.

"I was told in early 2009, while I was still a hostage, that all the others had been killed so the fact that the body's been handed over is sort of no surprise," he said.

"I know the the leader of the militia made a statement a couple of weeks ago, saying Alan had been killed and that they could release the body but they were talking about logistical problems in relation to that.

"I am a little bit surprised it's been handed over so soon, following that statement, I have to say."

He added: "In some ways it's good, it brings closure, it brings back a lot of memories, but this for me is the end of the hostage situation, at the end of the day life goes on and we have got to move on from it."

The men were snatched by militants posing as police at the Iraqi finance ministry in May 2007.

The four dead men were acting as bodyguards for Mr Moore.

He was freed on 30 December 2009, 946 days after he was kidnapped.

'Family ordeal'

In a statement Prime Minister David Cameron said: "My thoughts are with Alan's family and friends at this time.

"They have waited so long for his return and I hope that this will allow them to find some peace after an ordeal that no family should ever have to suffer."

Peter Moore talks to the BBC about being held with Alan McMenemy

An inquest into the deaths of Mr McMenemy's colleagues heard that on 29 May 2007, the security guards - who were armed with automatic rifles and pistols - collected Mr Moore and a fellow IT consultant, Peter Donkin, believed to be American, from their accommodation in the green zone of Baghdad.

The hearing, at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, in June last year, heard that they escorted the pair to the finance ministry where they were helping to install a new financial IT system.

At about 11:40 local time between 50 and 100 armed men, dressed in police and military uniforms, converged on the building and took the six men, the inquest heard.

Mr Cameron added that the relatives of British charity worker Margaret Hassan and engineer Ken Bigley were still waiting for the return of their bodies.

Ms Hassan was abducted and shot dead in Baghdad in 2004, while Mr Bigley was beheaded the same year.

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