The United States has formally asked Iraq to extradite a suspected Hezbollah operative accused of killing American troops, Reuters news service reported, amid heightened concerns in Washington that he may go free.
U.S. officials reluctantly turned over Ali Mussa Daqduq to Iraqi custody when American troops formally withdrew from the country in December. Daqduq, who was the last detainee handed over, is accused of orchestrating a kidnapping that led to the deaths of five U.S. servicemembers.
Daqduq has been charged in the U.S. military commissions system with murder, attempted murder, attempted taking of hostages, spying, and terrorism, Reuters said. An Iraqi court cleared him of all charges in May, citing a lack of evidence.
Iraqi officials told Reuters they knew nothing about the extradition request.
The anonymous U.S. official who confirmed the extradition request to Reuters said there is a "real worry" within the administration that Daqduq will never be brought to justice.