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Detained U.S. Citizen Released

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2005 – Coalition forces released Cyrus Kar, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen today, Multinational Force Iraq officials announced.

Kar, his Iranian companion and their taxi driver were detained by the Iraqi Army near Balad, Iraq, on May 17 following a search of their taxi. In the vehicle were 35 washing-machine timers, a common component used for the construction of improvised explosive devices.

IEDs have become the insurgents' weapon of choice, and since January, IEDs have killed or wounded over 40 members of the coalition forces and over 40 Iraqis in the vicinity where Kar was detained, noted officials.

After being detained by the Iraqi Army, the three men were transferred to coalition forces.

Kar was detained as an imperative security threat to Iraq under the authority of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546. After his initial questioning, the military notified the FBI, who initiated an investigation to determine if Kar had engaged in terrorist activities and could be classified as an enemy combatant.

Based on the FBI investigation, the testimony of Kar and the witness he called, and other witness statements, a Detainee Status Board determined Kar was not an enemy combatant and recommended his release, which was approved.

"This case highlights the effectiveness of our detainee review process," said Brig. Gen. Don Alston, coalition forces spokesman. "We followed well-established procedures, and Mr. Kar has now been properly released."

Kar's cameraman was also released, while the driver of the taxi remains in coalition detention pending the results of investigations into his activities.

"This case has been resolved appropriately," said Alston. "We understand this has been difficult for Mr. Kar and his family, however, we owe the coalition forces, Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians a thorough investigation, especially when the circumstances relate to serious and potentially dangerous activity."

(Based on a Multinational Force Iraq release.)

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