‘Long Live the Islamic State’
Another gruesome and disgusting find in Iraq, as the depths of Al Qaeda’s depravity are revealed once again: Torture chamber found in Iraq.
BAGHDAD - Blood-splotches on walls, chains hanging from a ceiling and swords on the killing floor — the artifacts left a disturbing tale of brutalities inside a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq torture chamber. But there was yet another chilling fact outside the dirt-floor dungeon. Villagers say they knew about the torment but were too intimidated by extremists to tell authorities until now. …
The reports and tips now pouring in build a harrowing portrait of rule under al-Qaida and its backers: mass graves, ruthless punishments, self-styled Islamic courts ordering summary executions.
Such a lead brought soldiers earlier this month to the hidden room in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Thursday. Graffiti on the building proclaimed “Long Live the Islamic State” — a reference to the Islamic governance, or caliphate, sought in Iraq by Sunni extremist groups that include al-Qaida.
Scrawled in white paint above a bed in the torture area was a Quranic phrase in Arabic normally used to welcome a guest. But the context suggested only sadistic mockery: “Come in, you are safe.”
The floor was littered with food wrappers, plastic soda bottles and electric cables that snaked to a metal bed frame, presumably where detainees were shocked, according to the U.S. account of the discovery during a Dec. 8-11 mission. The rooms “had chains, a bed — an iron bed that was still connected to a battery — knives and swords that were still covered in blood,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the top U.S. commander in northern Iraq.
Nearby were nine mass graves containing the remains of 26 people, he said.
Villagers knew about the torture site, but did not tell authorities as they were afraid of reprisals from the militants, a local policeman told The Associated Press. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was still afraid of being targeted by extremists.
In this image released by the U.S. Army, the outside of an alleged torture complex, where the words ‘long live the Islamic state’ are written on the wall near Muqdadiyah, about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. U.S. soldiers found mass graves north of Baghdad next to a torture center where chains were attached to blood-spattered walls and a metal bed frame was still connected to an electrical shock system, the military said Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007. (AP Photo/US Army)