Prison was a ‘breeding ground’ for Al-Qaeda, ex-inmate says
Extremists at the US’s largest prison in Iraq, shut down this fall, were allowed to give training courses to inmates on how to use explosives and how to become suicide bombers, according to a report at Al-Jazeera English.
Adel Jasim Mohammed, a former inmate at Camp Bucca who spent four years there without ever facing charges, told the news network that “US officials did nothing to stop radicals from indoctrinating young detainees at the camp,” AJE reports.
“Extremists had freedom to educate the young detainees. I saw them giving courses using classroom boards on how to use explosives, weapons and how to become suicide bombers,” Mohammed said.
“In 2005, an extremist was sent to our camp. At first, Sunnis and Shias rejected his teachings. But we were told that he was imposed by the prison authority,” he said.
“He stayed for a week and recruited 25 of the 34 detainees – they became extremists like him.”ADVERTISEMENT
This is not the first time that such allegations about Camp Bucca have been made, but a growing number of witnesses coming forward makes the allegations more credible. Last month, ex-inmate Abu Mohammed told the Pakistan Tribune that the prison was a “breeding ground” for Al-Qaeda.
“The illiterate and straight-forward people were the easiest prey for indoctrination,” Mohammed said.
Earlier this year Iraqi police described US-run prisons as “factories for terrorists” after stating that two suicide bombers who attacked government ministries and killed 100 people on August 19 had once been incarcerated at Camp Bucca.
But Brig.-Gen. David Quantock, the US military official in charge of detention centers in Iraq, rejected the charge.
“What frustrates me is the idea that there was a lot of radicalization going on inside the facilities of which I completely disagree,” said Quantock. “A lot of these guys were radicals even before they got into our facilities and we spent a lot of time and resources separating the extremists from the moderates.”
The Obama administration announced in September that it was shuttering the prison facility.
It is estimated that some 100,000 Iraqis spent time at Camp Bucca from 2003 to 2009, the years it was operational. US officials note that only four percent of those incarcerated returned to the jail after being freed. But, as AJE notes, it’s impossible to determine the actual recidivism rate because many of those imprisoned were never convicted in court of any crimes, so it’s unclear how many were insurgents to begin with.
— With Agence France-Presse
The following video was broadcast by Al-Jazeera English, December 11, 2009.
Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight
A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."
It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.
The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.
The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.
Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank
Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.
The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.
Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.
Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.
Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns
Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.
In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.
The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.
"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."