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Several Italian dailies cited a report now in the hands of Rome prosecutors by Major General Mario Marioli, an Italian who is the coalition forces' second-in-command.
In the report, Marioli said US authorities were aware that the agent, Nicola Calipari, and another officer were in Iraq, but only he knew why. He said Calipari had told him not to tell the Americans they were there to collect a hostage.
Italian media have speculated that the reason for not telling the Americans was due to US opposition to Italy's policy of negotiating with kidnappers.
However, Marioli also said that he finally told an American officer with him at the Baghdad airport - a certain "Captain Green" - after getting a call that the mission had been a success and that the two agents and freed journalist Giuliana Sgrena were on their way back, according to dailies Corriere della Sera, Il Messaggero and La Stampa.