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U.S. wants AP Iraqi photographer charged

Nov. 20, 2007 at 7:12 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. military is recommending Iraq try an award-winning Iraqi news photographer detained for 18 months for allegedly collaborating with insurgents.

At a Pentagon news briefing Monday, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Bilal Hussein has been investigated since his detention in April 2006 at his home in western Anbar province, CNN reported.

Morrell said investigators had "convincing and irrefutable evidence that Bilal Hussein is a threat to security and stability as a link to insurgent activity," and were recommending Iraq try Hussein for aiding insurgents, which is a capital offense, the BBC said.

The military first became suspicious of Hussein when they noticed he was often the first to arrive at the scene of attacks, Morrell said.

Hussein works for the Associated Press, and was among a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography in 2005.

AP Chief Executive Officer and President Tom Curley called on the U.S. military to release the photographer, and was joined by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the reports said.

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