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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

May 29, 2003
Release Number: 03-05-110


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


ALLEGED MURDERER MISTAKENLY RELEASED FROM U.S. CUSTODY

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. military forces mistakenly released Mohammed Jawad An-Neifus from the Bucca Internment facility at Umm Qasr on May 18, 2003.

An-Neifus is suspected of being involved in the murder of thousands of Iraqi Shias, whose remains were later found at a mass gravesite in the southern city of Mahawil. An-Neifus was first detained by U.S. Marines near the city of Al Hillah on April 26, 2003, and was turned over to Army Military Police on April 29.

After being detained, An-Neifus underwent a screening on May 18 conducted by an officer from the Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG), which is a regular procedure for all detainees. When he appeared for his initial screening, there was nothing unusual about the story he told that alerted the JAG officer to his true identity. Therefore, he was cleared for release.

U.S. military forces are solely responsible for his erroneous release and are conducting a thorough investigation to ensure no further recurrences. Coalition Forces will use all means available to bring An-Neifus to swift justice and are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

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