Pro-Iranian militias in Iraq...
This is indeed worrying...
The discovery of a secret Iraqi Interior Ministry torture chamber confirms what has been an open secret in Baghdad for months: Pro-Iranian militia have deeply infiltrated the ministry and are acting as a law unto themselves.
Iraqis have reported seeing men in Interior Ministry uniforms and vehicles at the sites of extrajudicial killings of Sunnis, and at least one reporter has been warned to keep his movements secret from the ministry for fear of being kidnapped.
It is widely thought that the ministry also is infiltrated by criminal networks linked to the insurgency.
Civilians and police in Baghdad have known about secret detention centers run by the ministry but have been too frightened of reprisals to say anything about them, one police officer said yesterday.
"I am more scared of the Ministry of Interior than I am of the insurgents," said the young police officer, who was reached by telephone in Baghdad and spoke strictly on the condition of anonymity.
U.S. forces raided the ministry-run basement detention center in Baghdad's upmarket Jadriyah neighborhood on Sunday, finding more than 160 malnourished prisoners, several bearing signs of torture. Most of them were Sunnis.
Asked whether there were other such prisons in Baghdad, the frightened police officer said it was "a very sensitive issue and would make big problems" if he spoke about them.
The Interior Ministry is headed by Bayan Jabr, a member of the pro-Iranian Shi'ite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The party's military branch, the Badr Brigade, has been accused of running anti-Sunni hit squads out of the ministry.