Skip to comments.Detainees in Iraq established sharia courts, top MP reports
Posted on 07/24/2008 5:51:11 PM PDT by SandRat
FORT HUACHUCA Some of the most dangerous detainees in American custody in Iraq have established sharia courts within the compounds in which they are held and have tried and executed fellow detainees who refused to join them, the Armys senior military police officer said Wednesday.
Detainees do not stop fighting just because they are detained. Their new environment is merely an extension of the battlefield, said Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson, the provost marshal general of the Army and the commander of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.
He made his comments to about 300 people attending the first Biometrics and Forensics Summit on Fort Huachuca.
After his speech, Johnson was asked by the Herald/Review to expand on his comments as to what he meant that some of the detainees continue to fight within such places as Camp Bucca in Iraq, where they are held.
Saying the United States has detained about 24,000 people and a lot of them are really bad guys and some not so bad, Johnson said the more strident detainees try to intimidate others into becoming die-hard insurgents.
This is especially important in case any of the individuals who are not so bad are released because they then become a part of the insurgent force, the general said.
Some of those who refused to cooperate were tried by the extreme aspects of Muslim law by fellow detainees, and some received death sentences that were carried out in the detention centers, Johnson said.
There was a well-run sharia court system with judges, juries and enforcers that took time to uncover, he said.
Many times the detainees sentenced to death were tortured before being killed, the general said, describing some of the horrific ways they suffered before dying.
The number of detainees tried in the centers were in the double-digits, the general said, without giving a specific number.
Investigative work by U.S. forces has led to the quashing of the extreme Muslim court system within the detention centers, and a number of those involved have been turned over to the Iraqi court system.
With evidence provided by the United States, many have been given prison sentences ranging up to 30 years and others found themselves on the end of death sentences from the Iraqi courts, Johnston said.
There has been no further sharia court problems within the detention centers in the past six months, he added.
Herald/Review senior reporter Bill Hess can be reached at 515-4615 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where's the Army's institutional memory?