They’ve moved to separate the “extremists” to keep them from influencing the general inmate population in U.S. prisons in Iraq. A wise next step would be to do the same in domestic prisons to prevent prison dawa and plots like this. “US military: Iraq inmates imposed Islamic justice,” by Kim Gamel for the Associated Press, July 26:
BAGHDAD – For years, extremist Iraqi detainees in U.S. custody held self-styled Islamic courts and tortured or killed inmates who refused to join them, military officials said, disclosing new details about the use of American prisons to recruit for the insurgency.
The problem became the main catalyst for a decision to separate moderate detainees from the extremists, part of a broader reform package aimed at correcting widespread U.S. prison abuses that sparked international criticism.
“We were having people who weren’t insurgents who were being forced to be insurgents because of the power of these courts, the power of al-Qaida and other extremist groups,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth Plowman, a spokesman for Task Force 134, which operates coalition detention facilities in Iraq.
Tiny Minority of Extremists Alert:
He told The Associated Press Friday that the jailhouse Sharia courts were formed, despite the presence of U.S guards, to enforce an extreme interpretation of Islamic law. They were then used to convict moderate inmates, who were then tortured or killed, he said.
In comments published in the Sierra Vista Herald in Arizona, Brig. Gen. Rodney L. Johnson, commander of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, put the number of detainees tried by the courts in the double-digits. Neither he nor Plowman would give specific numbers.
The courts were eradicated and none has been detected in six months although some gang-related issues persist, Plowman said.
“We have a detainee population of about 21,000. You’re gonna have extremists who will find a way to communicate and to form these kind of organizations,” he added.
But he said guards had stepped up to block efforts to form new courts. […]
“The problem’s been apparent and when Stone took command that was one of his first initiatives “” to separate out the detainees into categories like moderate, extremists etc. in order to resolve this issue,” Plowman said. “There hasn’t been any real Sharia court for six months or so.” […]
Plowman said the military is using Muslim clerics and prison board members to determine to which category they should be assigned.