Prisoner in Iraq faces U.S. charges

Feb. 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM
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BAGHDAD, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The Obama administration approved military prosecutors' charges against a Lebanese man accused of helping to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, the military said.

Ali Musa Daqduq, accused of being a Hezbollah operative, was the final U.S.-held detainee in Iraq turned over to Iraqi custody in December before American troops withdrew, The New York Times reported Friday.

On Jan. 3, military prosecutors swore out an eight-page charge sheet for Daqduq, a copy of which the Times obtained, in which he was accused of murder, perfidy, terrorism, espionage and other war crimes.

Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale, a military spokesman, confirmed the charges and said the government was "working with Iraq to effect Daqduq's transfer to a U.S. military commission consistent with U.S. and Iraqi law."

The Times said the White House declined to comment.

Whether the administration was seeking Daqduq's extradition or prepared the charges as a fallback plan in hopes of keeping him incarcerated was not clear, the Times said.

The Times said U.S. officials have expressed concerns that Iran may pressure Iraq to release Daqduq.

"Mr. Daqduq's alleged crimes are serious violations of the law of war that were committed against U.S. service members in Iraq in association with ongoing hostilities," Brig. Gen. Mark S. Martins, chief prosecutor of the military commissions, said in a statement.

Daqduq is accused of conspiring with several groups, including Iran's Quds Force, to train Shiite militias in insurgent tactics. Prosecutors said the most serious charges arise from his role in helping orchestrate a January 2007 raid by insurgents dressed in American-style uniforms and carrying forged ID cards who killed five U.S. soldiers in Karbala.

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