‘US handed over detainees to Iraqi torture squad’

Monday, October 25, 2010

LONDON - Newly-leaked US military documents posted on WikiLeaks have revealed that American troops in Iraq handed over captives to a notorious Iraqi torture squad, a media report said Monday.

The 400,000 classified logs published by the whistle-blower website Saturday contain an official account of deliberate threats by a military interrogator to turn his captive over to the Iraqi “Wolf Brigade”, the Guardian reported.

The interrogator told the prisoner in explicit terms that “he would be subject to all the pain and agony that the Wolf battalion is known to exact upon its detainees”.

The evidence emerged as British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the allegations of killings, torture and abuse in Iraq were “extremely serious” and “needed to be looked at”.

In an interview telecast on BBC One, Clegg did not rule out an inquiry into the actions of British forces in Iraq, but said it was up to the US administration to answer for the actions of its forces.

Only two cases of alleged involvement of British troops have so far been mentioned, the report said.

Within the huge leaked archive is contained a batch of secret field reports from the Iraqi town of Samarra. They corroborate previous allegations that the US military turned over many prisoners to the Wolf Brigade, the feared second battalion of the interior ministry’s special commandos, the daily said.

In Samarra, the series of log entries in 2004 and 2005 describe repeated raids by US infantry, who then handed their captives over to the Wolf Brigade for “further questioning”.

The field reports chime with allegations made by New York Times writer Peter Maass, who was in Samarra at the time. He told Guardian Films: “US soldiers, US advisers, were standing aside and doing nothing, while members of the Wolf Brigade beat and tortured prisoners.”

The interior ministry commandos took over the public library in Samarra, and turned it into a detention centre, he said.

The Wolf Brigade was created and supported by the US in an attempt to re-employ elements of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guard, this time to terrorise insurgents.

It is unclear which US unit filed the report of complaint that detainees were being specifically threatened with being turned over to the Wolf Brigade. The entry describes the capture of prisoners near the town of Falluja, west of Baghdad.

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