Later today thousands of former FBI agents across the country are expected to observe a moment of silence in honor of their missing colleague, ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who six years ago Saturday was kidnapped in Iran.
Levinson, who spent more than two decades in the Bureau before retiring in 1998, was traveling as a private businessman when he was taken captive by unknown assailants on Iran's Kish island March 9, 2007.
Since then, his family has mounted a worldwide campaign demanding that Iran set him free, pushing U.S. officials in a meeting in the Oval Office last March to negotiate for him. Today the family is scheduled to meet with the FBI and State Department about the case, but as one family member told ABC News, "There is no news, unfortunately."
After Secretary of State John Kerry met with the family, he released a statement calling on the Iranian government to "uphold its offer to help find Mr. Levinson and return him safely to his family."
"A husband and father to seven children, Mr. Levinson has missed birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other important milestones since his disappearance six years ago from Iran's Kish Island," Kerry said.
After his sudden disappearance, the first public sign of life from Levinson, who has diabetes, came in a hostage video posted on the internet a little over a year ago.
"Please help me get home," says Levinson in the video. "Thirty-three years of service to the United States deserves something. Please help me."
In January the family released a series of pictures of Levinson they received from his captors in 2011. This time the 64-year-old appeared haggard in an orange mock-prison uniform with a long gray beard and chains over his shoulders. There were five different photos, each staged with a different disturbing message by his captors. In each he holds a sign, one of which reads "Help me."
People involved in the case said the pictures, which also reference Guantanamo, were designed to suggest he is being held by al Qaeda, although the same people are certain Levinson is in Iran.
Authorities either do not know or have not publicly identified Levinson's suspected captors, but the U.S. government has repeatedly asked the Iranian government's help in finding him.
However, despite those pleas and a $1 million reward offered by the FBI for information leading to Levinson's discovery, it appears he will mark his sixth year away from his family and in captivity. Levinson turns 65 years old Sunday.
"Bob's former colleagues have not forgotten him and we call on the international community to redouble its efforts to gain his release," said Konrad Motyka, President of the FBI Agents Association. "Let's make this the last solemn anniversary that needs to be marked by focusing world attention on Levinson's continued unjustified imprisonment and gaining his release."
CLICK HERE to learn more about Levinson's case from the FBI or to submit a tip.
- Politics & Government
- Crime & Justice
- Robert Levinson