Blagojevich PR man killed in Afghan attack

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Glenn Selig was in Afghanistan working on a campaign to fight extremism, when he was killed in a hotel terror attack. (WLS)

One of the Americans killed in a terror attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, last weekend was the spokesman for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Glenn Selig, 50, was among 22 people killed when the Intercontinental Hotel was bombed and set ablaze. Selig and three other Americans are on the list of fatalities.

Blagojevich hired Selig's Tampa, Fla., based company, The Publicity Agency, after he was arrested by the FBI in 2008 on corruption charges. The case eventually sent Illinois' 40th governor to federal prison.

During numerous media blitzes by Blagojevich before, during and after trial, and as appeals were filed and lost, Selig was the ex-governor's trusted PR aide.

Selig's agency in Florida also handled press and public relations for former Bolingbrook police officer and wife-killer Drew Peterson. Most recently Selig was representing D.C. political operative Rick Gates who is facing criminal charges in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. Selig also played a role in promoting a legal defense fund for Gates in December.

"Unfortunately, we have received confirmation Glenn Selig was killed during the attack on the Intercontinental Hotel," the Selig Multimedia representative said in the statement. "Glenn was a tireless professional, loyal friend and pillar of the community, but most importantly he was a loving husband and wonderful father."

In Afghanistan, Taliban officials have claimed responsibility for the hotel attack that killed Selig and the others and wounded more than 150 people, including 41 foreigners. At least 14 of their victims were foreign citizens, nine of them pilots and flight crew members from Ukraine and Venezuela who worked for a private Afghan airline, Kam Air.

The 13-hour weekend siege started Saturday when six militants in suicide vests and carrying automatic weapons stormed the heavily-guarded hotel, a popular destination for western visitors. The siege ended Sunday, but not without significant damage and a terrible human toll.

During the assault, video from the scene showed the hotel in flames and people trying to save themselves by climbing out of windows.

Kabul hospitals were overwhelmed by victims of the attack. Video from emergency rooms showed severely wounded hotel guests and workers caught in the ambush receiving treatment. Afghan officials said many of the bodies were burned, making the identification process difficult.

"The United States strongly condemns the attack on January 20 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. We can confirm that there were four US citizens killed and two injured. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wish for the speedy recovery of those wounded. Out of respect for the families of the deceased, we have no further comment," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.

A spokesman for Selig's company declined to name Selig's client for the Afghanistan work but a Tampa newspaper reported he was "in Kabul to explore a potential project on counter-extremism." Several other people working on the project were said to have been wounded or injured in the blast but no one else from Selig's company was a victim. According to a company spokesman on Friday "no other members of the Selig Multimedia team were in the country during the attack." In what would be Selig's final social media post, on January 17, he appears in a video on the streets of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, apparently prior to heading to Afghanistan.

"Just wanted to check in, let everybody know that things are going great here and I'll talk to you soon," he states on camera.

Selig was a former Tampa Bay TV reporter and anchorman.

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