Lindsay at Majikthise asks an interesting question: How many US-held prisoners are there in Iraq?
In his memoir Fear Up Harsh former army interrogator Tony Lagouranis explains that American forces routinely detain Iraqis indefinitely on the mere suspicion that they have information that might be useful to American forces. That is, not everyone who gets detained is even a suspected insurgent, or a suspected accessory. It’s enough to be suspected of knowing anything useful.
Some of these people are arrested during raids or on the basis of tips (often from tipsters whose own credibility is suspect). Others just happen to be in the vicinity of an insurgent attack. According to Lagouranis, many Iraqis are hauled in just because they are family members of known or suspected insurgents. It’s one thing to question the family of a suspect, it’s quite another to detain them with out charge in the hopes of extracting intel.