US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians

US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians

Abu Ghraib prison The Afghanistan ‘kill team’ photos of murdered civilians could be more damaging than those from Abu Ghraib, say Nato commanders. Photograph: AP

Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of “trophy” photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.

Senior officials at Nato‘s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul have compared the pictures published by the German news weekly Der Spiegel to the images of US soldiers abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq which sparked waves of anti-US protests around the world.

They fear that the pictures could be even more damaging as they show the aftermath of the deliberate murders of Afghan civilians by a rogue US Stryker tank unit that operated in the southern province of Kandahar last year.

Some of the activities of the self-styled “kill team” are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians.

Five of the soldiers are on trial for pre-meditated murder, after they staged killings to make it look like they were defending themselves from Taliban attacks.

Other charges include the mutilation of corpses, the possession of images of human casualties and drug abuse.

All of the soldiers have denied the charges. They face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted.

The case has already created shock around the world, particularly with the revelations that the men cut “trophies” from the bodies of the people they killed.

An investigation by Der Spiegel has unearthed approximately 4,000 photos and videos taken by the men.

The magazine, which is planning to publish only three images, said that in addition to the crimes the men were on trial for there are “also entire collections of pictures of other victims that some of the defendants were keeping”.

The US military has strived to keep the pictures out of the public domain fearing it could inflame feelings at a time when anti-Americanism in Afghanistan is already running high.

In a statement, the army said it apologised for the distress caused by photographs “depicting actions repugnant to us as human beings and contrary to the standards and values of the United States“.

The lengthy Spiegel article that accompanies the photographs contains new details about the sadistic behaviour of the men.

In one incident in May last year, the article says, during a patrol, the team apprehended a mullah who was standing by the road and took him into a ditch where they made him kneel down.

The group’s leader, Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, then allegedly threw a grenade at the man while an order was given for him to be shot.

Afterwards, Gibbs is described cutting off one of the man’s little fingers and removing a tooth.

The patrol team later claimed to their superiors that the mullah had tried to threaten them with a grenade and that they had no choice but to shoot.

On Sunday night many organisations employing foreign staff, including the United Nations, ordered their staff into a “lockdown”, banning all movements around Kabul and requiring people to remain in their compounds.

In addition to the threat from the publication of the photographs, security has been heightened amid fears the Taliban may try to attack Persian new year celebrations.

There could also be attacks because Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, is due to make a speech declaring which areas of the country should be transferred from international to Afghan control in the coming months.

One security manager for the US company DynCorp sent an email to clients warning that publication of the photos was likely “to incite the local population” as the “severity of the incidents to be revealed are graphic and extreme”.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/21/us-army-kill-team-afghanistan-posed-pictures-murdered-civilians

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One thought on “US Army ‘kill team’ in Afghanistan posed for photos of murdered civilians

  1. slave of islam

    The followings are the words of your and my Lord. As a slave of Him you must know this. Please think about these with great concentration and justify where you are? If you are away from truth, at the moment you die (unavoidable); everything will be clear to you and will find no way of escape other than be the fuel for Hell-fire.

    They will say: “Yes indeed; a warner did come to us, but we belied him and said: ‘Allah never sent down anything (of revelation), you are only in great error.'”And they will say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!”

    “If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.”

    Surely, they have disbelieved who say: “Allah is the Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary).” But the Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)] said: “O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Verily, whosoever sets up partners in worship with Allah, then Allah has forbidden Paradise for him, and the Fire will be his abode. And for the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers) there are no helpers.

    Surely, disbelievers are those who said: “Allah is the third of the three (in a Trinity).” But there is no ilah (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilah (God -Allah). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them.

    Will they not repent to Allah and ask His Forgiveness? For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    The Messiah [‘Iesa (Jesus)], son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother [Maryam (Mary)] was a Siddiqah [i.e. she believed in the words of Allah and His Books ]. They both used to eat food (as any other human being, while Allah does not eat). Look how We make the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) clear to them, yet look how they are deluded away (from the truth).

    “How do you worship besides Allah something which has no power either to harm or to benefit you? But it is Allah Who is the All-Hearer, All-Knower.”

    “O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Exceed not the limits in your religion (by believing in something) other than the truth, and do not follow the vain desires of people who went astray in times gone by, and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the Right Path.”

    Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

    They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evil-doing, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.

    You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Auliya’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their ownselves have sent forward before them, for that (reason) Allah’s Wrath fell upon them and in torment they will abide.

    And (remember) when Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection): “O ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary)! Did you say unto men: ‘Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah?’ ” He will say: “Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing, You would surely have known it. You know what is in my inner-self though I do not know what is in Yours, truly, You, only You, are the All-Knower of all that is hidden and unseen. “Never did I say to them aught except what You (Allah) did command me to say: ‘Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.’ And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them, but when You took me up, You were the Watcher over them, and You are a Witness to all things. (This is a great admonition and warning to the Christians of the whole world).

    And they say: “The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children) [as the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that He has begotten a son [‘Iesa (Christ)], and the pagan Arabs say that He has begotten daughters (angels, etc.)].”

    Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins,That they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allah). But it is not suitable for (the Majesty of) the Most Beneficent (Allah) that He should beget a son (or offspring or children).

    There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent (Allah) as a slave. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection (without any helper, or protector or defender).

    Say (O Muhammad (pbuh)): “If the Most Beneficent (Allah) had a son (or children as you pretend), then I am the first of Allah’s worshippers [who deny and refute this claim of yours (and the first to believe in Allah Alone and testify that He has no children)].” Glorified be the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).
    So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs, which they have been promised. It is He (Allah) Who is the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) in the heaven and the only Ilah (God to be worshipped) on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower. And blessed be He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, and with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour, and to Whom you (all) will be returned.

    Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. The dwelling of such (people) is Hell, and they will find no way of escape from it.

    And they worship besides Allah things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: “These are our intercessors with Allah.” Say: “Do you inform Allah of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?” Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!

    Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), (O man)! or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hell-fire).

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