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N. Dakota man says hostage shown in Mideast video is his brother

Authenticity of image still not confirmed

BISMARCK, N.D. -- A man shown as a hostage on an insurgent video aired on Middle Eastern television is ''my brother, there's no question about that," a North Dakota man said yesterday.

The man shown in the video is Ronald Schulz, 40, an industrial electrician who has worked in Iraq, said Ed Schulz, of Arvilla.

He said he last spoke with his brother on Nov. 4, when Ronald Schulz was at his home in Anchorage.

The video, broadcast Tuesday by the Arab television network Al Jazeera, claimed insurgents had kidnapped a US security consultant, and displayed a blond man sitting with his hands tied behind his back. The video bore the logo of the insurgent Islamic Army.

The video also showed a US passport and an Arabic identification card with the name Ronald Schulz, but the spelling of the name was uncertain because it was written in Arabic.

Ed Schulz said both he and his mother, Gladys, identified his brother on the video.

''She's convinced it's him and the FBI is running like it's him," Ed Schulz said in an interview.

Schulz, 42, said the FBI had asked family members to give reporters only limited information.

''I don't want to get my brother killed," he said. ''But the fact that he has blond hair and blue eyes might get him killed. God only knows with these people."

He said his brother's last known location was Amman, Jordan.

''The FBI is trying to retrace his steps," Schulz said. ''They're not even sure what country he's in."

The authenticity of the video had not been confirmed. Liz Colton, a spokeswoman for the US Embassy in Baghdad, said US authorities were investigating the Al Jazeera report.

Schulz said that his brother worked for several companies, and that it was not unusual that he had not heard from him for several weeks. ''He built a feed mill in China once and he disappeared for three weeks," Schulz said.

He said his brother had visited relatives in North Dakota during the summer. Ronald Schulz graduated from high school in Jamestown, and served in the Marine Corps from 1984 to 1991, Ed Schulz said.

About 15,500 people live in Jamestown.

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