Thursday, June 3, 2010
Iraqi Police In Diyala Province Infiltrated By Insurgents
As reported before, besides involvement in criminal activity another major problem facing Iraq’s police is infiltration by insurgents. On May 30, 2010 Al Jazeera aired an interview with the police chief of Diyala province who said that too many policemen under him were hired too quickly in the past to deal with the lack of security. Many of these men were insurgents that the police force was now trying to filter out by doing background checks on every policeman in the province. The chief said this had resulted in several arrests, including of officers. His point was made clear the next day when it was announced that 39 policemen in the Khalis district of Diyala had been arrested for involvement in the May 21 bombing of a market there. The bomb was hidden in a mini-van, which killed 30 people and wounded 80 others. The blast went off right in front of a police station.
The experience with Diyala’s police has probably been repeated in other provinces that saw large scale fighting with insurgents. In the early days of the war the U.S. was desperate to build up Iraq’s security forces as quickly as possible. Later, when tribes in western Iraq began turning against Al Qaeda, the Americans took in thousands of tribesmen into the local police knowing very little about their background. That opened the door to infiltration. The militants are on the decline today, but they still carry out daily attacks. Their followers in the police are obviously an important asset to use in these operations, and is probably what allowed a bomb to go off in Khalis right in front of a police station. With the security situation improving that will hopefully give the authorities the time to provide closer oversight of their forces, and weed out militant sympathizers as the Diyala police chief is attempting today.
Alsumaria, “Iraq gory bombing kills 30 people,” 5/22/10
Aswat al-Iraq, “39 cops detained in Diala,” 5/31/10
Al Jazeera, “Police infiltrated in Iraq province,” 5/30/10
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