The U.S. military said on Friday that its troops have detained an Iraqi police intelligence officer for suspected role in illegal sectarian activities and crimes.
Colonel Thamir al-Husayni, nicknamed Abu Turab, an intelligence officer for Iraq's 2nd National Police Division Headquarters, was taken into custody by U.S. soldiers in northwestern Baghdad on Thursday, the military said in a statement.
The statement said that Husayni was responsible for collecting large quantities of intelligence data and was suspected of using that information against U.S. and Iraqi forces throughout the area.
"Col. Thamir allegedly uses his position to direct Iraqi National Police officers to use traffic check points throughout western Baghdad to detain Sunnis, thereby aiding in sectarian evictions in Shiite areas," said the statement.
The U.S. military also accused Husayni of targeting specific Sunnis at the behest of Mahdi Army loyal to radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Badr Organization, the military wing of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), the leading Shiite political party headed by Abdul Aziz l-Hakim, according to the statement.
Additionally, the suspect allegedly used Sunni detainees for ransom and directed his men to abuse detainees to force confessions, it added.
Sunnis in Baghdad repeatedly accused Iraqi security forces of orchestrating death squads to carry out abductions and killings in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods.