Republished from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
October 27th, 2010 | by Yuba Bessaoud
A series of reports contained in the leaked U.S. logs reveal that troops handed over detainees to a feared Iraqi police interrogation squad, despite knowing the torturous methods they employed.
A number of files make reference to U.S. interactions with the Wolf Brigade, a Ministry of Interior battalion known for savage practices and a distinct uniform of red berets, sunglasses and balaclavas.
In one report from Fallujah in western Iraq dated December 14 2005, a military interrogator threatened a detainee with transfer to the “Wolf Battalion” as a means of getting him to talk.
December 14 2005
[The officer] threatened the subject detainee that he would never see his family again and would be sent to the wolf battalion where he would be subject to all the pain and agony that the wolf battalion is known to exact upon its detainees.
Two months earlier on November 2, a report from the ‘Thunder Squadron’ of the Armed Cavalry Regiment based in Baghdad details the arrest of five Iraqis with fake identification in a car featuring on the ‘BOLO’ (be on look-out) wanted list. The individuals were, the report claims, “turned over to the Wolf Brigade”.
The logs also show that U.S. troops investigated claims by detainees of abuse at Wolf Brigade hands. On December 13 2006 a report detailing the medical examination of three detainees all claiming to have been beaten with a baseball bat by Wolf Brigade officers. The PA – ‘physician assistant’ – confirmed that each man’s wounds were consistent with their description of the weapons used against them.
The logs also contain intelligence reports of counter-attacks and reprisals against the brigade. On one occasion from January 2007 the decapitated head of an officer from the brigade was found, but no body was located. “A wire was run through the ear with the corpse’s ID attached to the wire,” states the report.