Wassef Ali Hassoun (Arabic: واصف علي حسون) (born January 1, 1980) was a United States Marine Corps corporal who was charged with desertion for leaving his unit and apparently engaging with others in a hoax to make it appear that he had been captured by terrorists on June 19, 2004 while serving in Iraq. Originally listed as having deserted, the Lebanese-American Marine was then thought to have been taken hostage by Iraqis who were thought to have befriended him.
Al Jazeera broadcast a video of Hassoun on June 27, 2004, blindfolded and with a masked man holding a sword over his head, saying that he had been captured. His "kidnappers" identified themselves as part of "Islamic Response", the security wing of the "National Islamic Resistance" 1920 Revolution Brigades. On July 3, 2004, Al Jazeera reported that the terrorist group Jaish Ansar al-Sunna had released a statement declaring they had beheaded Hassoun, and their website confirmed this. On the 4th it was reported al-Sunna denied this, and on July 6, Al Jazeera reported receipt of a message he'd been "taken to a safe location" after he promised to desert from the Marine Corps. (NYT) On July 7, CNN reported that Hassoun had contacted his family in West Jordan, Utah and Lebanon from the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, asking to be picked up at an unspecified location. The Houston Chronicle 1 stated later that afternoon his family, as well as the embassy in question, deny that the telephone call had taken place.
On July 8, U.S. State Department spokesman (at the time) Richard A. Boucher announced that Hassoun had arrived at the embassy in Beirut at 11 am EDT, and was in good health.