Mar. 31, 2005 – The number of prisoners held by US forces in Iraq has more than doubled in recent months -- from 4,300 last October to almost 10,500 today -- according to the military itself. Of the current prison population, about 100 detainees are under age eighteen, a spokesperson admitted.
Lieutenant Colonel Gary Rudisill, speaking on behalf of US detention operations, told the Associated Press that American forces are holding about 1,200 of the captives at temporary facilities on forward bases, while the other 9,300 are held in three permanent prisons, including Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, Camp Cropper at the Baghdad International Airport and Camp Bucca in southern Iraq.
The number of prisoners in Iraq declined last summer in the wake of revelations that US prison guards and contractors at Abu Ghraib tortured and sexually humiliated Iraqi detainees. But recently, the trend has reversed as the Iraqi resistance has grown stronger and US-led forces have opted to conduct massive sweeps to detain what they say are suspected insurgents. Recently exposed military documents note that also caught up in such sweeps are "sub-targets" - so-called "military aged" males found in the house of a suspect.