Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Iraqi Official: ‘We have no knowledge of the existence of death squads.’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Major General Hussein Ali Kamal, under secretary of the Iraqi Interior Ministry for intelligence affairs, said: “We learned about the existence of death squads from US newspaper reports. We had no information about these squads from our agencies or from US forces.”

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat by telephone from his office in Baghdad, Kamal added, “We have no details, except US newspaper reports indicating that US forces arrested 22 people wearing official police uniforms and holding an Iraqi official.”

He said, “The Iraqi Interior Ministry immediately opened an investigation yesterday. If we had any information on these squads, we would give it to the media. However, we will wait for the results of the investigation to obtain definite information.”

Commenting on new torture pictures of Iraqi detainees in the Abu-Ghraib prison that were published recently, Kamal said, “These are the same pictures that were published a year ago and which caused huge media and political uproar. Our government denounced the incidents at the time.”

He added “We hope that these acts will not be repeated. They violate all international charters on dealing with prisoners, especially the human rights declaration.”

For its part, the US Defense Department, Pentagon, confirmed the authenticity of the new pictures of violations in the Abu-Ghraib prison. It expressed concern over the effect of the publication of these pictures in the Islamic world.

The Iraqi Government yesterday denounced the violations, the new pictures of which shocked the Iraqis. At the same time, it welcomed Washington’s reactions that “denounced” the pictures.

On a separate issue, secret tapes, which the American ABC network received, indicated that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein warned Washington before 1990 that large-scale terrorist attacks would be carried out in the United States.

A statement issued by the ABC network said that former UN inspector (Bill Turni) gave the network 12 hours of tapes that were recorded in Saddam Hussein’s presidential office in the 1990s, and that he translated them for the FBI.

In one of these tapes, Saddam Hussein said, “Terrorism has arrived. I told the Americans and the British long before the 2nd of August that terrorist attacks would be carried out in the future and that weapons of mass destruction would be used in these attacks.”