Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Surge = Iraqi detainees grows 50%

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    Saturday, August 25, 2007

    Surge = Iraqi detainees grows 50%

    AFP: Number of Iraqi detainees grows 50 percent: report
    25 August 2007 | 07:02 | FOCUS News Agency
    WASHINGTON. The number of detainees held by coalition forces in Iraq has grown by 50 percent under a troop increase known as "the surge" ordered by President George W. Bush, AFP reported quoting The New York Times' website.

    Citing unnamed US military officers in Iraq, the newspaper said that the inmate population in Iraq grew to 24,500 from 16,000 in February.

    The detainee increase is due to US forces operating in areas where they had not been present for some time, and to more units being able to maintain a round-the-clock presence in some areas, the report said.

    Nearly 85 percent of the detainees in custody are Sunni Arabs, according to the report. Military officers said that among the Sunni detainees, about 1,800 claim allegiance to Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a homegrown extremist group that US intelligence agencies have concluded is foreign-led, The Times said.

    About 6,000 more identify themselves as takfiris, or Muslims who believe some other fellow Muslims are not true believers, according to the paper.

    Those statistics would seem to indicate that the main inspiration of the hard-core Sunni insurgency is no longer a desire to restore the old order, but religion and ideology, The Times said.

    But the officers say an equally large number of Iraqi detainees say money is a significant reason they planted roadside bombs or shot at Iraqi and US-led forces, according to the paper.

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