Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has transformed a few terror cells on the verge of extinction into the most dangerous militant group in the world.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi or Abu Dua was once held by the US in Camp Bucca Iraq.
abu dua
(The Telegraph)
But the Obama administration shut down the Bucca prison camp and released its prisoners, including Abu Dua in 2009.

The Telegraph reported:

The FBI “most wanted” mugshot shows a tough, swarthy figure, his hair in a jailbird crew-cut. The $10 million price on his head, meanwhile, suggests that whoever released him from US custody four years ago may now be regretting it…

…Well-organised and utterly ruthless, the ex-preacher is the driving force behind al-Qaeda’s resurgence throughout Syria and Iraq, putting it at the forefront of the war to topple President Bashar al-Assad and starting a fresh campaign of mayhem against the Western-backed government in Baghdad.

On Tuesday, his forces achieved their biggest coup in Iraq to date, seizing control of government buildings in Mosul, the country’s third biggest city. Coming on top of similar operations in January that planted the black jihadi flag in the towns of Fallujah and Ramadi, it gives al-Qaeda control of large swathes of the north and west of the country, and poses the biggest security crisis since the US pull-out two years ago…

…“This guy was a Salafi (a follower of a fundamentalist brand of Islam), and Saddam’s regime would have kept a close eye on him,” said Dr Michael Knights, an Iraq expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“He was also in Camp Bucca for several years, which suggests he was already considered a serious threat when he went in there.”

That theory seems backed by US intelligence reports from 2005, which describe him as al-Qaeda’s point man in Qaim, a fly-blown town in Iraq’s western desert.

“Abu Duaa was connected to the intimidation, torture and murder of local civilians in Qaim”, says a Pentagon document. “He would kidnap individuals or entire families, accuse them, pronounce sentence and then publicly execute them.”

Why such a ferocious individual was deemed fit for release in 2009 is not known. One possible explanation is that he was one of thousands of suspected insurgents granted amnesty as the US began its draw down in Iraq. Another, though, is that rather like Keyser Söze, the enigmatic crimelord in the film The Usual Suspects, he may actually be several different people.

al qaeda iraq truck
Al-Qaeda ISIS members from ISIS celebrate in Diyala Province, Iraq.

Democracy Now added this on the closing of Camp Bucca in 2009.

The US meanwhile has closed Camp Bucca, once its largest prison in Iraq. The Pentagon says it’s transferred Bucca’s remaining 180 prisoners to two jails near Baghdad. US Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth King said the prison’s closure comes as part of the US-Iraq security deal.

Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth King: “As a show of progress for the security agreement and moving forward the government of Iraq, we’re going to put the theater internment facility as a piece of history. And we’re going to — it will be history, and we’ll move forward from here and progress.”

Camp Bucca once hosted thousands of prisoners without charge, with many allegations of torture and abuse by US guards.

 

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