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Still No Clear Path for Integrating 'Sons of Iraq' into Iraqi Government

Thursday, July 10, 2008

BAGHDAD -- In a recent investigative hearing at the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) in Baghdad, a detainee held by the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I) gave his version of the events leading up to his detention in a village in al-Anbar province, and his subsequent transfer to the Iraqi court for possible prosecution. The detainee, clad in a standard-issue bright yellow jumpsuit, explained that the weapons caches found on and next to his property were part of an elaborate set-up arising out of a feud with a neighboring family.

According to the detainee, he was not involved in insurgent activity and had no knowledge of the existence of the weapons caches. He further claimed that members of the local Awakening Council, known to Iraqis as a sahwa, were cooperating with U.S. forces, had taken part in the raid of his house, and had planted the weapons to implicate his family. He went on to state that the bad blood between the two families had arisen when his uncle, a former member of the sahwa, had attempted to break off and found his own such group. ...

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