Iraqi refugee held in France on suspicion of Daesh ‘war crimes’

An Iraqi man cries over body-bags containing the remains of people believed to have been slain by Daesh at the Speicher camp in Tikrit, Iraq. An Iraqi refugee in France has been arrested in Paris and indicted over his alleged involvement in the massacre. (AFP)
Updated 08 June 2018
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Iraqi refugee held in France on suspicion of Daesh ‘war crimes’

  • A 33-year-old man is accused of having participated in the June 2014 capture and execution of an estimated 1,700 young, mainly Shiite army recruits from the Speicher military camp.
  • Ahmed H was arrested in March and indicted days later on a range of charges including “killings in connection with a terrorist group” and “war crimes,” and placed in pre-trial detention.

PARIS: An Iraqi refugee in France thought to be a former senior member of Daesh has been arrested in Paris and indicted on suspicion of “war crimes” over his alleged involvement in a massacre in his country.
The 33-year-old man, referred to as Ahmed H, is accused of having participated in the June 2014 capture and execution of an estimated 1,700 young, mainly Shiite army recruits from the Speicher military camp to the north of Tikrit.
Ahmed H was arrested in March and indicted days later on a range of charges including “killings in connection with a terrorist group” and “war crimes,” and placed in pre-trial detention, the Paris prosecutor said.
The case highlights fears by Western intelligence agencies that extremists have been able to take advantage of the migrant crisis to enter Europe.
Having arrived in France in the summer of 2016 Ahmed H obtained refugee status a year later and was given a 10-year resident card, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Thursday.
Shortly after being granted his refugee status, Ahmed H was identified and followed by intelligence services, who then notified judicial authorities.
According to a source close to the investigation, Ahmed H has denied any involvement.
French authorities have revoked his protected status since his incarceration.
His lawyer Mohamed El Monsaf Hamdi did not want to comment immediately when contacted by AFP.
The Camp Speicher massacre was considered one of Daesh’s worst crimes after it took over large parts of Iraq in 2014.
One of the sites of the massacre was the former river police building inside former president Saddam Hussein’s palace complex in Tikrit.
Video footage subsequently released by Daesh showed an assembly-line massacre in which gunmen herded their victims toward the quay, shot them in the back of the head and pushed them in the water one after the other.


Eight wounded in China bus knife rampage

Updated 3 min 22 sec ago
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Eight wounded in China bus knife rampage

  • The assault occurred in Xi’an, the former imperial city where tourists flock to see China’s famed Teracotta Army.
  • Mass stabbings are not uncommon in China, which heavily restricts access to firearms. In April a man stabbed nine college students in the same province where Xi’an is located.

BEIJING: A man attacked and wounded eight people Friday in a frenzied knife attack that began on a public bus in northern China, state media said.
The assault occurred in Xi’an, the former imperial city where tourists flock to see China’s famed Teracotta Army.
The suspected attacker was arrested by police, the People’s Daily reported on its Twitter account, posting video of a man being restrained by officers as a siren wailed in the background.
“Suspect that slashed and injured multiple people on and off the bus has been arrested by local police,” the paper wrote.
A video posted on China’s Weibo social networking platform showed harrowing scenes of a woman and a child lying bloodied and visibly unconscious next to the bus.
Local newspaper Huashang Bao, quoting a police note, said the man started attacking people on the bus, including the driver, before exiting the vehicle and assaulting people nearby.
Mass stabbings are not uncommon in China, which heavily restricts access to firearms. In April a man stabbed nine college students in the same province where Xi’an is located.
Two months earlier a man killed a woman and wounded 12 others at a popular Beijing shopping mall.