« | »

Al Qaeda Torture Chamber Found In Iraq

From those champions of the Geneva Conventions at the Associated Press:

In this image released by the U.S. Army, Thursday Dec. 20, 2007 bodies found in a mass grave near a torture chamber are seen near Muqdadiyah, Iraq.

Torture chamber found in Iraq

By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press Writer Fri Dec 21

BAGHDAD – Blood-splotches on walls, chains hanging from a ceiling and swords on the killing floor — the artifacts left a disturbing tale of brutalities inside a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq torture chamber. But there was yet another chilling fact outside the dirt-floor dungeon. Villagers say they knew about the torment but were too intimidated by extremists to tell authorities until now.

Stories such as these — claims of insurgent abuses and the silence of frightened Iraqis — have emerged with increasing frequency and clarity recently as U.S.-led forces push deeper into former extremist fiefdoms and forge alliances with tribes seeking to reclaim their regions.

The reports and tips now pouring in build a harrowing portrait of rule under al-Qaida and its backers: mass graves, ruthless punishments, self-styled Islamic courts ordering summary executions.

Such a lead brought soldiers earlier this month to the hidden room in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Thursday. Graffiti on the building proclaimed “Long Live the Islamic State” — a reference to the Islamic governance, or caliphate, sought in Iraq by Sunni extremist groups that include al-Qaida.

Scrawled in white paint above a bed in the torture area was a Quranic phrase in Arabic normally used to welcome a guest. But the context suggested only sadistic mockery: “Come in, you are safe.”

The floor was littered with food wrappers, plastic soda bottles and electric cables that snaked to a metal bed frame, presumably where detainees were shocked, according to the U.S. account of the discovery during a Dec. 8-11 mission.

The rooms “had chains, a bed — an iron bed that was still connected to a battery — knives and swords that were still covered in blood,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the top U.S. commander in northern Iraq.

Nearby were nine mass graves containing the remains of 26 people, he said.

Villagers knew about the torture site, but did not tell authorities as they were afraid of reprisals from the militants, a local policeman told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was still afraid of being targeted by extremists…

It was not the first apparent torture site found after U.S. forces moved into former extremist strongholds.

In March, U.S. troops discovered a similar site in the village of Karmah just west of Baghdad that was used by Sunni insurgents for torture and summary executions. They rescued two Iraqi captives, who apparently had been spared immediate execution because the militants’ video camera broke and they wanted to film the killing.

The captives told U.S. soldiers they had been sentenced to death by an insurgent court and had the choice of either beheading or a fatal gunshot.

Both Sunni insurgents and Shiite militia death squads regularly torture their captives before killing them — sometimes with power drills. Most of the hundreds of bodies that have turned up in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq show signs of torture.

In this image released by the U.S. Army, Thursday Dec. 20, 2007, a soldier stands next to the site of an alleged torture chamber near Muqdadiyah.

In this image released by the U.S. Army, Thursday Dec. 20, 2007, a metal bed connected to an electric shock system is seen inside an alleged torture complex near Muqdadiyah, Iraq.

In this image released by the U.S. Army, the outside of an alleged torture complex, where the words ‘long live the Islamic state’ are written on the wall near Muqdadiyah, Iraq on Sunday.

How many “above the fold” stories will the New York Times run about this? When will the human rights activists take to the streets?

These are rhetorical questions of course. These “freedom fighters” can do no wrong.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, December 21st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Al Qaeda Torture Chamber Found In Iraq”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »