As troops leave, U.S. seeks custody of key Iraq detainee

By Published: November 3, 2011

As recently as two years ago, there were upwards of 8,000 detainees in American custody in Iraq. The U.S.-Iraqi security pact signed in November 2008 has led to the steady transfer of detainees to Iraqi custody ever since, with hundreds being turned over each month. 

The process continues, but there is one particular prisoner drawing great interest, according to Reuters. And his future status will become an even greater issue as the U.S. prepares to pull all of its forces out of Iraq by year's end.

His name is Ali Mussa Daqduq, a Lebanese national and Hezbollah operative accused of orchestrating the January 2007 kidnapping of five U.S. servicemembers in Karbala, Iraq. The five were executed while in captivity. Daqduq, captured in March 2007, is suspected in other kidnappings and executions, particularly of U.S. and British nationals in Iraq.

Sen. John McCain and other lawmakers have asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to transfer Daqduq to Guantanamo. The Iraqi government has yet to respond to a U.S. request to transfer Daqduq into U.S. custody.