1,000 Security Detainees Released From Abu Ghraib
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2005 Coalition officials have released nearly 1,000 detainees from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison over the past several days, officials in Baghdad, Iraq, announced.
At the request of and with the assistance of the Iraqi government, Multinational Force Iraq accelerated the "Combined Review and Release Board" process to expedite the detainees' release from the Abu Ghraib Theater Internment Facility from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27. Representing all Iraqi communities, these detainees were brought to Abu Ghraib from detention facilities throughout Iraq.
This major release, the largest to date, marks a significant event in Iraq's progress toward democratic governance and the rule of law, demonstrating the involvement of Iraq's government in the effort to provide both security and justice for all Iraqis, military officials said.
Those chosen for release are not guilty of serious, violent crimes, such as bombing, torture, kidnapping or murder, and all have admitted their crimes, renounced violence and pledged to be good citizens of a democratic Iraq.
Their cases were carefully reviewed on an individual basis by a combined board of Iraqi and coalition officials and decided in light of Iraq's ongoing efforts to create peace and stability and build a brighter future for its citizens, officials said.
In other Iraq news, coalition forces killed Abu Khallad, a major facilitator of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into northern Iraq, during operations in Mosul Aug. 25. Multiple intelligence sources and tips from concerned citizens led multinational forces to a location in Mosul where known foreign fighter facilitator Khallad, a Saudi national, was located.
Upon arrival, multinational forces stopped his vehicle, a gunfight immediately ensued, and Khallad and an unidentified terrorist were shot and killed.
Recent detainees have alleged that Khallad had contacted recruiters in Saudi Arabia to coordinate the movement of foreign fighters and suicide bombers into northern Iraq. Once in Mosul, he allegedly directed the distribution of the foreign fighters and suicide bombers to various terrorist cells operating in Mosul.
He was also allegedly active in support of the foreign fighters smuggled into the Mosul area. According to detainee reports, Khallad supplied them with money, weapons and bomb-making materials. Detainees further stated these resources were from donations from the same Saudi contacts who recruited and sent the foreign fighters to Mosul.
Elsewhere, at 11:59 a.m. on Aug. 26, three unidentified individuals drove a truck the wrong way into the outbound lane and broke through the first entry control point barrier on Base Camp Adder, Iraq. Airmen from the 407th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and soldiers from the 56th Brigade Combat Team opened fire on the vehicle. Two of the unidentified individuals were killed and one was injured. The injured person was taken to the installation's hospital for treatment. The individual is in stable condition and medical authorities expect a full recovery.
No coalition forces were killed or injured in the incident.
"The professionalism of the men and women who quickly responded to this incident, prevented any harm to the more than 9,000 Air Force, Army and coalition members on and around this installation," said Air Force Col. Michael J. Nowak, 407th Air Expeditionary Group commander.
"Security forces personnel flawlessly executed their job in service to the nation and met the challenge of providing force protection of the installation's perimeter," he added.
Ali Base is home to the 407th Air Expeditionary Group, which operates C-130 Hercules and is located near the town of Nasiriyah.
In the air war over Iraq, coalition aircraft flew 37 close-air-support and armed-reconnaissance sorties Aug. 26 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities, and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.
U.S. Air Force F-16s and British Royal Air Force GR-4s provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Maqadiyah, Hit and Jalula. Other U.S. Air Force F-16s and U.S. Navy F/A-18s provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Al Muqdadiyah and Jaykhanah.
Ten U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions in support of operations in Iraq. Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a non-traditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.
(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)