Obama’s strange new respect comes home to roost. “Iraq Ministry Bombers Were Freed by US,” from Agence France-Presse, August 31 (thanks to DFS):
The suicide bombers who killed 95 people in devastating attacks at Iraqi government ministries on August 19 were recently released from U.S. custody, a senior interior ministry official said on Sunday.
The truck bombings in Baghdad also wounded 600 people in what was the worst day of violence to hit the country for 18 months, dealing a major blow to the nation’s security efforts in the wake of a major pullout of U.S. troops.
“The suicide bomber who blew himself up at the ministry of foreign affairs was released three months ago from Camp Bucca,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity, referring to the U.S. jail near Basra.
“The suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the ministry of finance was also released a few months ago from the same jail.”
Since the start of this year 5,236 prisoners have been released from U.S. custody and 1,179 detainees handed over to the government of Iraq, according to figures released on Sunday.
Less than 9,000 prisoners are still in American-run prisons.
“We have no proof that a former detainee was involved in the bombings,” a U.S. army spokesman told AFP.
“The government of Iraq is still investigating the attacks, and it would be inappropriate for us to speculate as to who may have been involved while the investigation is ongoing.”
The interior ministry official, however, told AFP that 14 suspects had been arrested in the wake of the attacks and that the truck bombs were prepared in southern Baghdad.
“The vast majority of them were released in recent months from Camp Bucca,” he said, noting that all of the suspects were from Nineveh and Salaheddin provinces.
“Each of them had a precise role. One was responsible for buying the trucks. One was in charge of making sure they could enter Baghdad. One made sure that the explosives were packed on the trucks and others were the suicide bombers.”