Fabrizio Quattrocchi dies a hero.
Italian hostage 'defied killers'
The Italian hostage killed by kidnappers in Iraq was a defiant "hero" in his final moments, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says.
The dead man was identified as Fabrizio Quattrocchi, 36, a security guard.
As the gunman's pistol was pointing at him the hostage "tried to take off his hood and shouted: 'now I'll show you how an Italian dies,'" he said.
April 26, 2004, 8:31 a.m.
Moments of Truth
Fabrizio Quattrocchi lived fully — to his last moment.
By James S. Robbins
Thucydides wrote about war in order to study man's character. Conflict brings out both the very best in human nature, and the very worst. The two often emerge simultaneously.
Witness Fabrizio Quattrocchi, 36, a baker from Italy who went to Iraq to work as a security guard for a contracting firm. He and three other Italians were taken hostage by al-Katibat al-Khadra, the Green Battalion, who demanded that Italy release some of the Muslim extremists they are holding, and that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologize for statements he made that allegedly insulted Islam. They showed the hostages on video, and threatened to kill them if their demands were not met. To demonstrate they were serious, they took Quattrocchi to a field, and had him dig a large hole. They then put a hood over his head and forced him to kneel by the grave, preparing to murder him. But Fabrizio did not cooperate. He stood and tried to pull off the hood, shouting, "Now I'll show you how an Italian dies!" The terrorists shot him in the back of the neck. Al Jazeera, which obtained the videotape of the killing, chose not to air it, saying it was "too gruesome." Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said, Fabrizio "died a hero."