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Thursday, September 25, 2008

American Civilians Killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, January 2001 to December 2007

INTELWIRE filed a FOIA request for any records concerning non-military American citizens killed in Iraq and Afghanistan from January 1, 2001 to December 2007. The State Department said it found nine documents, consisting of 17 pages, which are linked below. The State Department said it was not withholding any documents, although some of the released documents were redacted.

Despite the State Department's claim that these are the only documents it could locate, none of the documents refer to American citizen Nicholas Berg, the most famous American civilian casualty in Iraq, who was killed by Al Qaeda in Iraq head Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.

Due to this glaring inconsistency, INTELWIRE believes this request has not received an adequate search nor a satisfactory response. An appeal is in process. In the meantime, the released documents may be viewed below.

American civilians killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, 1/2001 to 12/2007

One point of special interest in the released documents concerned Hector Patino, of San Antonio, Texas, who was killed in an apparent friendly fire incident in January 2007. Family members have raised questions about the official account of Patino's killing.

Reports stated Patino was driving a truck when Australian coalition military guards ordered him to stop in the vicinity of a checkpoint. He did not stop, for reasons unknown, and the soldiers shot and killed him.

The document released to INTELWIRE has one key difference from the official report. According to a State Department cable dated Jan. 17, 2007, "Australian and U.S. military guards ... shot and killed Patino."

As an early report, the cable may simply have erred in stating that U.S. soldiers were involved in the incident. INTELWIRE makes no special claims about the veracity of either account, but offers the document for those who may wish to investigate further.

1/17/2007: State Department cable, death of Hector Patino

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Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.



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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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