|Treasury adds Hezbollah leader who was in US custody last year to terrorism list|
|The Treasury Department added a Hezbollah leader who was in the US military's custody until late last year to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists. Mussa Ali Daqduq, the Hezbollah leader who was responsible for molding the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups into potent fighting forces and who also was involved in the murder of US soldiers, was released to Iraqi custody in December 2011 and freed late last week.|
Treasury added Daqduq to the list of global terrorists today. The Iraqi government freed Daqduq on Thursday, saying it had no reason to keep in custody. An Iraqi court had dismissed terrorism charges against him in May. After his release, Daqduq promptly flew to Hezbollah's home base in Lebanon, according to his lawyer.
When the US transferred Daqduq to Iraqi custody last December, White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said that Iraqi officials assured the US they would prosecute Daqduq. The Obama administration refused to transfer Daqduq to Guantanamo Bay for a military trial, while members of Congress said they would block administration attempts to transfer Daqduq to the US for a trial in federal court.
Daqduq's designation is both tragic and ironic as he was in US custody a mere 11 months ago. Before his release it was well known that he has been involved with Hezbollah since 1983. He served as the head of Hezbollah's special forces, as well as the commander of Hezbollah emir Hassan Nasrallah's bodyguard, before being assigned to help kill US troops in Iraq.
According to Treasury: "In approximately 2005, Iran asked Hezbollah to form a group to train Iraqis to fight Coalition Forces in Iraq. In response, Hassan Nasrallah established a covert Hezbollah unit to train and advise Iraqi militants in Jaish al Mahdi (JAM) [or Mahdi Army] and JAM Special Groups, now known as Asaib Ahl al Haq [League of the Righteous]," a Mahdi Army faction.
"As of 2006, Daqduq had been ordered by Hezbollah to work with IRGC-QF [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force] to provide training and equipment to JAM Special Groups to augment their ability to inflict damage against US troops," Treasury stated.
Daqduq has been linked to one of the most high-profile attacks in Iraq in 2007, in which five US troops at the Karbala Joint Provincial Coordination Center were captured and subsequently executed.
|Iraq frees Hezbollah commander who helped mold Shia terror groups|
|Iraq has freed Musa Ali Daduq, the senior Hezbollah commander who was tasked by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to mold Shia terror groups into a Hezbollah-like entity. Daqduq was involved in the murder of five US soldiers in 2007. The US government transferred Daqduq to Iraqi custody in December 2011. |
Daqduq was freed by Iraqi authorities last night and transferred to Lebanon, his lawyer told Reuters.
"There was no reason for his detention. Last night the decision was made to release him. He is out now and arrived in Beirut two hours ago," Daqduq's lawyer told Reuters. "There are no charges against him in Iraq. His detention was political, not legal."
Daqduq's release from Iraqi custody has been foreshadowed for months. In May, an Iraqi court ordered him to be released from custody, but Daqduq remained in prison while his case was appealed. In June, the US requested that Iraq extradite Daqduq so he could be tried in an American federal court. In August, an Iraqi court blocked his extradition to the US.
When the US transferred Daqduq to Iraqi custody last December, White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said that Iraqi officials assured the US they would prosecute Daqduq.
At the time of Daqduq's release from US custody, American officials said that they feared the Iraqi government would be pressured by Iran and Shia political parties to free him outright. The US Department of Justice had planned to prosecute Daqduq in a US court, but Republican Senators opposed the transfer of the terrorist to US soil for prosecution. Some wanted Daqduq to be tried by a military court at Guantanamo Bay, but the Obama administration has refused to allow the transfer of terrorists to the prison and instead has sought to close it.
|Hizbullah Man Wanted by U.S. Freed from Iraq Custody|
|[An Nahar] The lawyer for a Hizbullah commander wanted by the United States said his client has been released from Iraqi custody and has been flown to the Beirut.|
Lawyer Abdul-Mahdi al-Mitairi said Ali Moussa Daqdouq was released on Friday from house arrest in the Iraqi capital, Storied . The lawyer did not provide further information in an email sent to The .
an Iraqi official told Agence Presse on condiiton of anonymity that "the judiciary decided to release Ali Moussa Daqdouq due to a lack of sufficient evidence," adding that Daqdouq is now in .
The U.S believes Daqduq was the of a 2007 raid on an American military base in the Iraqi holy Shiite city of Karbala that killed five U.S. soldiers.
|-Lurid Crime Tales-|
|Executioner of Captured American Troops to Be Set Free Thanks To Obama|
|An Iraqi court has rejected a request to send a Hezbollah commander to the United States for trial. Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Lebanese militant, has been held in Iraq for the 2007 killings of five American soldiers, four of whom were captured, tortured and shot execution-style. But now the Iraqi central criminal court has ordered that Daqduq be freed immediately. The Court stated:|
It is not possible to hand [Daqduq] over because the charges were dropped in the same case. Therefore, the court decided to reject the request to hand [him] over to the U.S. judiciary authorities, and to release him immediately.
|US asks Iraq to extradite Hezbollah suspect|
|The United States has formally asked Iraq to extradite a suspected Hezbollah operative accused of killing American troops, a U.S. official told Reuters, amid heightened concerns in Washington that he may go free.|
It was not immediately clear when the request was filed and Iraqi officials approached by Reuters denied knowledge of it, casting doubt on whether an extradition was seriously being considered at this point in Baghdad.
The fate of Ali Mussa Daqduq has been vexing American officials since last December, when the United States was forced to hand him over to Baghdad after failing to secure a custody deal ahead of the U.S. military's withdrawal from the country.
|Iraqi court orders release of Hezbollah prisoner|
|A court in Iraq found a Hezbollah commander accused of killing U.S. troops in 2007 not guilty for lack of evidence and ruled that he be set free.|
Terror experts have said Daqduq, a Lebanese commander for Hezbollah, is among "the worst of the worst"
Daqduq was caught in late 2007 and held in U.S. custody in Iraq as authorities tried to decide where to charge him. When the American military withdrew from Iraq late in December, U.S. officials were forced to hand over Daqduq to Iraqi authorities.
Too bad he didn't die of 'acute cirrhosis' while in custody...
|Iraq lawyer predicts Hezbollah prisoner to go free|
|A Hezbollah commander accused of targeting U.S. soldiers in Iraq may be released from prison within weeks, his lawyer predicted Wednesday, claiming that flimsy American evidence has kept his client behind bars for nearly five years.|
Daqduq's attorney, Abdul-Mahdi al-Mitairi, said he expects Iraqi courts to agree that there is not enough evidence to keep him in prison.
"Legally, the investigation judge should have already released him for a lack of evidence, but he was under pressure from the Americans," al-Mitairi said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press.
"Now we are waiting for the case to be transferred to a criminal court in the coming few weeks, and I think he will be released after the first trial session," al-Mitairi said.
Daqduq is a Lebanese commander for Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group linked to numerous deadly attacks. U.S. officials say he trained Shiite militias in Iraq and helped plot the 2007 killing of four American soldiers in the holy city of Karbala, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Baghdad.
Daqduq was captured later that year and held in U.S. custody in Iraq as officials tried to decide where to charge him. When the American military left Iraq late last December, U.S. officials were forced to hand over Daqduq to Iraqi authorities -- despite fears in Washington that he would be quietly freed by the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.
|Iraq: US hands over detainees save Hezbollah agent|
|The U.S. handed over all of the remaining detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq Tuesday, except for a Lebanese Hezbollah commander linked to the death of four American troops, Iraqi and American officials said.|
The prisoner transfer marks another step toward the American military's withdrawal from Iraq, as it plans for all U.S. troops to be out of the country by the end of this year.
It still leaves the contentious issue of what to do with a prisoner that many in the U.S. worry will walk free if he's handed over to the Iraqi government.
This is exactly why we have Gitmo...
Iraqi Deputy Justice Minister Busho Ibrahim said 37 detainees were transferred to Iraqi custody Tuesday morning.
A U.S. military official confirmed all the remaining prisoners were transferred with the exception of Hezbollah operative Ali Mussa Daqduq, who he said is still in American custody while the U.S. weighs his situation.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
|'Hizbullah Commander' Arrested in Iraq Could Get Military Tribunal in U.S.|
|[An Nahar] The is considering a military trial in the United States for a Hizbullah commander now in Iraq, U.S. counterterrorism officials said, previewing a potential prosecution strategy that has failed before but may offer a solution to a difficult legal problem for the government.|
While the U.S. hasn't made a decision, officials said a tribunal at a U.S. military base may be the best way to deal with Daqduq target=_blank>Ali Mussa Daqduq, who was captured in Iraq in 2007. He has been linked to the Iranian government and a brazen raid in which four American soldiers were and killed in the Iraqi holy city of Karbala in 2007.
No military commission has been held on U.S. soil since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. President George Bush tried holding a few suspected at military bases inside the U.S., but each detainee ultimately was released or transferred to civilian courts.
President has said that, because of changes to the military commissions that give prisoners more rights, he supports them as an option in the fight against terrorism.
But a tribunal for Daqduq probably would draw criticism from both liberals, who say a civilian court should be used, and conservatives, who don't want suspected brought to the U.S. regardless of the venue.
The Bush administration had planned to prosecute Daqduq in an American civilian court. To prepare for that, intelligence officials questioned Daqduq, then had the FBI restart the interrogation from scratch so his answers would be admissible in court.
In a twist of political irony, however, that plan has been effectively scuttled because of opposition from Bush's own Republican Party.
A decision must be made soon. Daqduq is among a few of the remaining U.S. prisoners who, under a 2008 agreement between Washington and Storied , must be transferred to Iraqi custody by the end of 2011. U.S. officials fear that if he is turned over to Iraq, he will simply walk free.
|Hezbollah leader could get military tribunal in US|
|Ay Pee summarized: Ali Mussa Daqduq, captured in Iraq in 2007, has connections to Iran and to the kidnap and murder of four American soldiers in Karbala that year. If he is brought to the U.S. to be tried by military tribunal, it will be the first on U.S. soil since 9/11. If nothing is done, he must be turned over to Iraq by the end of this year. Why a military tribunal can't be constituted for this case in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay is not explained, although thus far Guantanamo Bay has only been used for Sunni Al Qaeda associates, not Shiite Hizb'allah members.|
|U.S. Transfer of Hizbullah Fighter to Iraqi Authorities on Hold|
|[An Nahar] Iraq's Justice Ministry said Friday that plans to transfer a top Hizbullah commander who's being held in Storied from U.S. to Iraqi custody have been put on hold.|
The turnabout comes as 20 U.S. senators ask the Pentagon to take "whatever steps you can" to prevent the transfer out of fear that the , Ali Mussa Daqduq, will escape or be released by Iraq's government.
Just two days ago, Justice Ministry Haidar al-Saadi said the U.S. would transfer custody of Daqduq by the end of this week.
U.S. forces have held Daqduq since his 2007 capture for allegedly cooperating with Iranian agents to train Shiite militias to target American soldiers.
He is one of about 10 detainees whom the U.S. must either prosecute or hand over to Iraq by the end of the year.
In a letter dated Thursday, 20 U.S. senators asked Defense Secretary "to take whatever steps you can to block Daqduq's transfer to the Iraqi government and out of U.S. custody."
"If he is released from United States custody, there is little doubt that Daqduq will return to the battlefield and resume his terrorist activities against the United States and our interests," the senators wrote in the letter signed by 19 Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sen. of Arizona, top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman , an independent senator from Connecticut, also signed the letter.
|US DOJ plans to prosecute Hezbollah commander captured in Iraq|
|By BILL ROGGIO May 16, 2011This is one bad dude -- read it all|
The US Department of Justice is planning to prosecute Ali Mussa Daqduq, a dangerous Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian Qods Force agent who is responsible for organizing the Shia terror groups in Iraq and the kidnapping and murder of US soldiers.
The proposed prosecution was disclosed in a letter written by five US senators to US Attorney General Eric Holder, asking the Justice Department to clarify the status of Daqduq and inquiring why Daqduq will not be transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The letter, which was signed by US Senators Charles Grassley, Orrin Hatch, Jeff Sessions, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn, was sent to the Department of Justice this evening. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Long War Journal [see Threat Matrix report, Text of letter to the Department of Justice on Ali Mussa Daqduq].
"We are deeply concerned that the Administration and the Department of Justice are moving forward with plans to prosecute Ali Mussa Daqduq in federal court for clear violations of the laws of war that occurred in Iraq," the senators said.
The senators believe that Daqduq should be prosecuted by a military commission and not in a federal court as "his actions clearly defy the laws of war." The senators are also concerned that Daqduq would eventually be freed if transferred to the Iraqi government.
"Moreover, we are concerned that if Daqduq is left in the custody of the Iraqi government, AAH [the Asaib al Haq or League of the Righteous] will successfully negotiate his release," the letter continued. "There is little doubt that Daqduq will return to the battlefield and resume his terrorist activities against the United States and our interests."
Daqduq is perhaps the most dangerous of the Shia terror commanders captured by US forces in Iraq since 2003. Daqduq has a pedigree with Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran's proxy militia and terror group that is based in Lebanon. At the time of his capture in March 2007, he was a 24-year veteran of Hezbollah. He has commanded both a Hezbollah special operations unit and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's security detail.