U.S. Army Maj. Charles Miller suspects members of the Iraqi police unit he was advising of killing, kidnapping and beating Sunni Muslims and leading him into an ambush.
Miller, who normally works at U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, led an 11-strong team advising the battalion that was part of the Shi'ite-dominated Wolf Brigade, widely reputed to abuse its powers to target Sunnis.
The battalion would detain far more Sunnis than Shi'ites in raids, Miller said. The few Shi'ites would be released while Sunnis would be mistreated before being transferred to prison.
"Some of the people, when they showed up, were pretty well beat up," said Miller, calmly recounting his story at Fort Riley, Kansas, where the Army trains advisory teams.
Soon afterward, the brigade moved from Baghdad to Salman Pak, a mainly Sunni area southeast of the capital. The police confiscated weapons from local people during the day together with their American advisers, Miller recalled.
"The Wolf Brigade went back in that night and started kidnapping and killing people, burned a couple of houses down," he said.