The Disappeared of Iraq

Far from the headlines, dozens of Iraqis are kidnapped every day. TIME investigates this criminal underworld--and tells the story of one man who survived it

It can happen in seconds.

Waddah al-Anbari's ordeal began on an afternoon in Baghdad early this year while he was out buying a new cell phone. The neighborhood seemed safe; Waddah didn't bother to lock his car door. He was about to cross a narrow alley when a car screeched up, blocking his way. Two men got out, thrust AK-47s into his ribs and pushed him into the floor behind the front seat. Climbing in the backseat, the men pinned him down with their feet and beat him in the torso with the butts of their guns. When he tried to...

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