Iraqi Officers Going AWOL in America
About a dozen have skipped out while here for military training
By Kevin Langbaum,  Newser User
Posted Dec 6, 2007 8:46 PM CST
U. S. Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez speaks to politicians, military brass, private donors, staff and patients from Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston. One of the AWOL Iraqi officers was studying...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Nearly a dozen Iraqi military and law-enforcement officials have fled specialized training programs in the US, the Washington Times reports. The men are either seeking asylum in this country or are still missing—leading a high-ranking congressman to warn of the national-security implications. An Army spokesman says none of the missing students poses a threat.

The Army confirmed five disappearances the past two years, and officials also say a brigadier general fled to Canada with his family earlier this year. "The trainees are given access to highly sensitive information intended to help in the stabilization of Iraq," Republican Rep. Lamar Smith said.  "Strict controls … are necessary to protect both our national security and our soldiers overseas."