The abducted Americans are only a small fraction of the people that go missing in Iraq every day.
Accurate figures on kidnappings are impossible to come by as the Iraqi government doesn't maintain a database on crime. One member of the Iraqi parliament told Al Jazeera that the amount of kidnappings has skyrocketed over the last six months and is now in the thousands.
In Sadr City we spoke Hussien Sarmad. He has witnessed intense activity in his neighbourhood over the last 10 days. He described to us late-night raids, helicopters buzzing over homes and counter-terrorism forces in the streets.
He is angry that when Iraqis are kidnapped from his neighbourhood, no one seems to care. "It's funny, all this fuss for three Americans. The security forces are turning our neighbourhood upside down. I doubt that they are even here," Sarmad said.
It's a common sentiment among Iraqi families who fall victim to this sort of crime.
The search for the kidnappers doesn't involve the military. Often times families of the victims receive no help from the police or international community and are left to deal with the threats from the kidnappers themselves.