The US military says award-winning photographer Bilal Hussein was a terrorist media operative who infiltrated the Associated Press.
The US military has filed a formal complaint with an Iraqi criminal court accusing a detained, award-winning Associated Press photographer of being a “terrorist media operative,” the Pentagon said Monday.
Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said the military made the complaint about Bilal Hussein, who has been held for more than 19 months without charges in US military custody, to Iraq’s Central Criminal Court.
“We believe Bilal Hussein was a terrorist media operative who infiltrated the AP,” he said. “MNF-I possesses convincing and irrefutable evidence that Bilal Hussein is a threat to security and stability as a link to insurgent activity.”
Morrell said an investigative hearing into the case by the court is scheduled to begin on or after November 28.
Hussein was detained April 12, 2006 after marines entered his house in Ramadi to establish a temporary observation post and found bomb-making materials, insurgent propaganda and a surveillance photograph of a US military installation.
Morrell said Hussein, who was part of an AP photo team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005, had previously aroused suspicion because he was often at the scene insurgent attacks as they occurred.
He said other evidence, which he would not describe, came to light after his detention “that makes it clear that Mr. Hussein is a terrorist media operative who infiltrated the AP.”