Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Man detained in Iran is likely son of Phoenixville electronics magazine publisher

During a telephone conversation this afternoon, I offered Mr. Fattal our support during his family's time of crisis.

Please join my family and me as we pray for the safe return of Joshua Fattal and his companions.


One of three backpackers detained by Iranian authorities on Friday is likely the son of Jacob Fattal, the publisher and president of U.S. Tech Interactive, a Phoenixville-based electronics industry magazine.

A man who would not give his name answered a call to the publication’s Chester County offices and confirmed there was a blood relationship but would not specify the link, citing pressure from federal authorities to avoid comment.

“The CIA and the FBI have been around,” the man said before repeatedly declining further comment.

Fox 29 reported that the backpacker’s father is a Jacob Fattal. A Technically Philly tipster made the connection, but declined to go on record or acknowledge how details of the relationship were known. Calls to the Fattal residence by Technically Philly were sent directly to a voice mailbox.

Fattal’s 27-year-old son Joshua, who was arrested by Iranian guards after he and his fellow hikers wandered into that country from the Kurdish region of Iraq, is a 2000 graduate of Cheltenham High School, as reported in today’s Daily News. Their report says Joshua was most recently living in Oregon. He was born in Boston and graduated from the University of California-Berkeley, they reported.

Joshua’s believed-to-be publisher father Jacob and his wife Laura live in Elkins Park, from where she told the the Daily News: “My husband and I are only concerned about the health and welfare of Josh, Shane and Sara.”

Joshua’s two companions were Sara Short and Shane Bower, as reported by the New York Times.

Technically Philly has not yet independently confirmed that the Jacob Fattal who is the father of detained Joshua Fattal is the same Jacob Fattal who publishes the electronics magazine. Any readers with further information should contact us.

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