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Iraq War 10 Years Later: Where Are They Now? Mohammed Al-Rehaief (aided Jessica Lynch)

Jessica Lynch. Tommy Franks.  'Chemical Ali.' Tony Blair. Hans Blix. Ten years ago, as the war in Iraq began, these were names on front pages everywhere. Find out what has happened to them – and 10 other headliners associated with the conflict – since.
Mohammed Al-Rehaief
(aided Jessica Lynch)

Alex Wong/Getty Images file

Iraqi attorney Mohammed Odeh al-Rehaief, who lost vision in his left eye when he helped rescue former POW U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, addresses the media at the National Press Club on Nov. 10, 2003 in Washington.

When Jessica Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital by Army Rangers in early April 2003, much of the credit went to a 32-year-old local lawyer, Mohammed al-Rehaief, who was reported to have walked six miles to a United States Marine checkpoint to tell where Lynch was being held. Al-Rehaief -- whose wife, a nurse, had seen Lynch being mistreated in the hospital -- was then, according to news reports, sent back to the hospital to gather information that was used to plan Lynch’s rescue.
Though U.S. military was later reported to have learned of Lynch’s location from several informants — and his exact role in the rescue was much disputed — Al-Rehaief was immediately labeled as a hero and was soon granted, along with his wife and child, asylum in the United States.

After arriving in the U.S. in April 2003, al-Rehaief immediately joined The Livingston Group, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm run by former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, according to Fox News.  In recognition of his assistance, the U.S. government granted him humanitarian parole immediately after his arrival in America. 

Apart from working at the Livingston Group, al-Rehaief also found time to write a book about his experiences, “Because Each Life Is Precious,” for which he reportedly was paid $300,000. He also was a consultant to “Saving Private Lynch,” a 2003 TV movie made about the incident. A biography released by the Livingston Group said that Al-Rehaief also is a black-belt practitioner of Kung Fu 
In addition, he served for several years on the advisory board of Terror Free Tomorrow, a non-partisan group based in Washington, D.C., that describes its mission to “empower public opinion against authoritarian dictatorships and terrorist minorities.” Sen. John McCain is listed as being a member of its advisory board; however, al-Rehaief’s involvement with the organization ended “several years ago,” according to its president and founder, Kenneth Ballen.
Overall, though, Al-Rehaief has generally adopted a low profile in recent years, cutting back on giving speeches about his experiences.
However, in 2008, Al-Rehaief was the subject of a resolution by his home state’s Virginia General Assembly, honoring his “selfless act in helping United States forces come to the aid of Jessica Lynch.” The resolution also noted “his passion for kung fu, in which he holds a black belt, and he opened a martial arts school in Nasiriyah, where he taught for several years.”