Status-of-forces agreement might require authorization
Thursday, November 20, 2008
BAGHDAD Some U.S. troops in Iraq could begin applying for warrants before detaining terrorist suspects or searching Iraqi homes as soon as Dec. 1 -- a month before they might become required to do so under a new status-of-forces agreement.
Military sources, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the topic, said at least some units of the 4th Infantry Division in Baghdad would begin obtaining warrants from Iraqi legal authorities next month before making arrests or searching homes for weapons caches and other contraband in noncombat situations.
U.S. military officials would not confirm or deny the report.
According to the sources, discussions have been held between some U.S. military officials and their Iraqi counterparts on procedures the soldiers will have to follow to get the warrants. Thus far, no guidelines have been issued, the sources said.
"I really don't know how it is going to work out," said Maj. Geoff Greene, executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, which operates in east Baghdad. "I don't know how to get them yet," he said of the warrants, adding that he expects to "receive guidance soon."