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He has also reported for USA Today, Reuters, AFP and Jane's Defence Weekly. The same year he toured and reported on the city of Mogadishu, Somalia, for a segment titled "The World's Most Dangerous City", for which he would receive a News and Documentary Emmy Award nomination.
More recently, Engel's coverage included the Israel-Gaza conflict of 2012, the continued violence stemming from the revolution in Syria and its consequent civil war, and the political transition of Egypt following the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2012.
On December 13, 2012, Engel and his five crew members, Aziz Akyavaş, Ghazi Balkiz, John Kooistra, Ian Rivers and Ammar Cheikh Omar, were abducted in Syria.
Having escaped after five days in captivity, Engel said he believed that a Shabiha group loyal to al-Assad was behind the abduction, and that the crew was freed by the Ahrar al-Sham group five days later.
Based on his extensive knowledge developed covering the conflict, Engel received a request from the Bush administration to meet with President George W.
Bush at the White House to discuss Iraq and Mideast policy. Engel's award-winning documentary, War Zone Diary, chronicled his time in Iraq.
He speaks and reads Arabic fluently and is also fluent in Italian and Spanish.He spent months traveling from rebel commanded areas in Benghazi to other various rebel strongholds.In March 2011 he was caught in an artillery strike as he interviewed fighters during an attempted rebel advancement towards former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces outside the city of Ajdabiya.Engel's account was however challenged from early on, with Jamie Dettmer of The Daily Beast citing unnamed sources, who believed Engel and his team had been kidnapped by rogue rebel groups opposed to Assad.In April 2015, NBC had to revise the kidnapping account, following further investigations by The New York Times, who had conducted several dozen interviews, suggesting that the NBC team "was almost certainly taken by a Sunni criminal element affiliated with the Free Syrian Army," rather than by a loyalist Shia group.