US general: I met Israeli interrogator in Iraq
The U.S. general who was in charge of Baghdad's notorious Abu Ghraib prison said on Saturday she had met an Israeli interrogator in Iraq, a claim Israel denied but which was likely to irritate many in the Arab world.
"He was clearly from the Middle East and he said: 'Well, I do some of the interrogation here and of course I speak Arabic, but I'm not an Arab. I'm from Israel'," she said.
"My initial reaction was to laugh because I thought maybe he was joking, and I realized he was serious," said Karpinski who has been suspended from her command for failings at Abu Ghraib but has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
A U.S. military spokesman in Washington said he had no information and Israel denied it.
"There is no basis or support in the reports regarding the alleged involvement of Israeli interrogators in interrogating prisoners or captives in Iraq. These reports are firmly denied," Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office said in a statement.
An Israeli security source told Reuters: "Israel was not and is not involved in the interrogation of anyone in Iraq."
Israeli involvement in Iraq could anger Arabs who accuse Washington of favoring the Jewish state in its conflict with the Palestinians and in wider disputes with its Arab neighbors.
Israel has denied similar reports in the past of involvement in U.S. operations in the Middle East. Last month, it denied a report in the New Yorker magazine that it was training Kurdish fighters in Iraq to counter Shi'ite militias there.
Photographs of military police abusing prisoners in Abu Ghraib and other reports of abuse have led to hearings in Congress and fueled Arab and international outrage.