WASHINGTON The Pentagon has acknowledged that an American contractor for the Defence Department is missing in Baghdad, saying attempts were being made to recover him. The acknowledgment came after the League of the Righteous, portrayed in the US media as a Shiite group, posted a statement and video on its web site Thursday showing the hostage. The statement demanded the release of the fighters who have fought US forces and punishment of the guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe Services, who were involved in a shooting incident in Baghdad in 2007 that claimed the lives of 14 Iraqis. The Pentagon said in a statement that contractor Issa T. Salomi, 60, of El Cajon, California, has been missing since January 23. Salomi, who is of Iraqi origin, was last seen in Baghdad, where he worked alongside US soldiers. His wife, Muna, confirmed that the man in the video is her husband. The Pentagon said, Search and recovery efforts are ongoing, however, it disclosed no additional information. Gen. Hussein Kamal, the Iraqi Interior Ministrys Director of Intelligence and Criminal Investigations, said Salomi was kidnapped in Karrada, an upscale district in central Baghdad, according to The Washington Post. Another Iraqi intelligence official said Salomi was visiting relatives when he was taken hostage. The US officials have cautioned that kidnapping remains a serious threat for American government employees and civilians in Iraq. They said that they worry that finding abducted Americans in Baghdad would be more challenging under regulations that came into effect last summer. The rules, imposed as part of the nominal withdrawal of US troops from Iraqi cities, have restricted the movement and authority of the US troops in urban areas. In the short video released by the group, a man wearing US combat fatigues- which US interpreters wear- said he is in good health and reports that he is being treated humanely. The man, who does not identify himself, calls for the release of those detainees who have resisted the occupation and that have never been involved in any serious crime against their fellow innocent Iraqis. The man also said the Blackwater guards involved in the shooting in the capitals Nisoor Square should face proper justice and proper punishment for what he describes as unjustifiable crimes against innocent Iraqi civilians who were bystanders. A US district judge dismissed an indictment December 31 against five of the guards charged in the shooting, saying prosecutors and investigators made serious mistakes in preparing the case.