US Sending Foreign Inmates Home From Iraq

Repatriation 'in the works' for some of 200 fighters still in detention
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 5, 2008 3:08 PM CDT
Blindfolded detainees are escorted to the joint Iraqi-US military headquarters in Youssifiyah, south of Baghdad, May 2, 2007.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Seeking to cut the number of detainees it holds, the US military has begun releasing foreign fighters captured in Iraq to their home countries, USA Today reports. The past two months have seen the first such releases, with some 15 detainees heading to Saudi Arabia and five to Egypt. The military currently holds some 200 foreigners—down from 450 about 2 years ago.

“Our goal is to put ourselves out of business and return all detainees to their homes or to (Iraqi government) jurisdiction,” said a military rep. The released detainees’ home countries say they will prevent the ex-fighters from engaging in more terrorism, and will treat them fairly—though one expert says those promises may not hold.