U.S. probe of Koran burning finds 5 soldiers responsible, officials say; clerics demand trial

PUL-E-ALAM, Afghanistan — Military investigators have concluded that five soldiers were involved in the incineration of a pile of Korans in Afghanistan last week, according to U.S. military officials who have been briefed on the inquiry.

The burning of the Muslim holy books — which U.S. officials say was accidental — incited a week of protests that left 30 Afghans dead. The burnings also were cited as motivation for at least some of the six fatal attacks on U.S. soldiers that have occurred in Afghanistan in the last eight days.

Afghan authorities said Sunday they have identified a suspect in the killing of two U.S. military advisers inside an Afghan ministry a day earlier and have launched a manhunt to track him down. (Feb. 26)

Afghan authorities said Sunday they have identified a suspect in the killing of two U.S. military advisers inside an Afghan ministry a day earlier and have launched a manhunt to track him down. (Feb. 26)

Investigators appointed by Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, found that the soldiers removed the Korans from a prison located at Bagram air base after they were found to contain extremist messages.

The books were then placed in an office for safekeeping, according to the inquiry. But they were mistaken for garbage and taken to a landfill on the base.

Afghan employees identified the books as Korans just as their pages caught fire, a major desecration, according to Muslim teachings. The discovery led to a week of unprecedented tension between U.S. and Afghan military officials.

U.S. military officials said that although the five soldiers will be reprimanded, it’s unlikely that their names will be released or that their punishment will approach the seriousness of what some Afghans are demanding, including trial in an Afghan court.

“For the soldiers, it will be serious — they could lose rank. But you’re not going to see the kind of public trial that some here seem to want,” said one U.S. military official.

Another military official said: “What they did was careless, but there was no ill will.”

The much-discussed investigation was intended to quell unrest and prove to the Afghan public that U.S. officials were both apologetic and willing to make amends for wrongdoing.

But U.S. military officials expressed concern that the investigation’s finding — which stops short of pinning blame on malevolent soldiers — might not satisfy Afghan leaders who have have publicly demanded harsh retribution.

Senior Afghan clerics, in a statement issued after a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, said “this evil action cannot be forgiven by apologizing. The perpetrators of the mentioned crime should be put on a public trial as soon as possible.”

The clerics reiterated calls for the U.S.-led NATO coalition to relinquish control of military prisons to the Afghan government. “This incident was caused due to the illegal management of the prison,” the clerics said, according to a translation of their statement provided by the U.S. military. The clerics said they “strongly urged for the suspension of all prisons and the transfer of all prisoners to the Afghan government so that in the future similar incidents do not happen.”

NATO spokesman Col. Jimmie Cummings declined to comment on the findings of the military inquiry, saying it was “still going through the legal process.” A separate Afghan investigation, which is being conducted by parliamentarians and religious officials, is expected to conclude in the next several days. U.S. military officials worry that if the Afghan investigation clashes with their own findings, it could reinvigorate demonstrators whose anger has appeared to fade this week.

“There’s a real concern there. We don’t know what the investigation will say, or how the public will react,” one official said. “But we know that there’s a real interest in trying guilty parties in an Afghan court, and that’s not something we’re prepared to do.” 

A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Gavin Sundwall, said American officials “certainly hope” that the release of Afghan report will not lead to more violence. A third investigative panel that includes both U.S. and Afghan officials also is expected to issue its findings soon.

“We appreciated President Karzai’s repeated calls for dialogue and calm earlier and hope that people took them to heart,” Sundwall said. “. . . We believe that we will get through this unfortunate period, that a decade’s worth of relationships don’t go away in a single week.”

When Afghan employees discovered the partially charred Korans at Bagram, they launched into a protest outside of Kabul that was followed by dozens more across the country.

Afghan security forces and a civilian have killed six American soldiers in three different incidents since the Koran burnings became known, including two who were shot in the back of the head while working at their desks inside the fortified Interior Ministry. In response to that attack, Allen ordered Western advisers to temporarily evacuate Afghan ministries.

Many of those advisers still have not returned to work. They are permitted to attend “mission essential” meetings with their Afghan counterparts, but only if they are escorted by an armed guard and wearing body armor.

U.S. officials said better oversight could have prevented the Koran burning. Coalition soldiers across Afghanistan are now receiving training on how to properly handle religious materials — a lesson ordered by Allen. Much of the instruction has focused on the meaning and importance of the Koran in Muslim culture.


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The clerics can go to hell.....and US supervisors denigrating soldiers can join the clerics......

They may in good time Harry in the mean time: 

We have to put up with this guys finding and facts, and truths do not always matter.

I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Barack Obama

John.........I guess a little humor helps every now and then...........

John Kay--T'anks.Many negative stereotypes of Islam I find have residence in the person and abilities of Barak Hussein Obama II.aka Barry Soetoro  selected for the Office of the President but by whom --and a Constitutional Question of eligibility seems insufficiently  responded to  at this time. Five have been identified?

pray tell how many Afghans have been similarly identified for the death of those sent to save the bloody buggers from themselves?If the number be only five then it seems a wash--if greater than five-- IMO we've some catch up to be about.


Sir, you are as elegant as ever and I applaud you.

Is taking up words any less an act of treason than taking up arms?

If so, why are we still talking?

Have the American People ever taken up arms against the tyranny of government before?  You bet they have. Go to this site and view this video on full screen. It is called the Battle of Athens and occurred shortly after WWII in Athens Tennessee.....



The next time this becomes necessary, it is going to be much more involved and indeed will be much expanded but with the same results.....They have been warned but they have not listened.


Semper Fi

Link is at the bottom of the article: I always post link source, good policy :-) Those officials are not taking my calls right now they are sleeping :-) Also LA Times is reporting same. CBS News same. Time same.

Did you get my email, time is a ticking?




I have a back up show no problem Will do.

Tell the Afghan's to shove off!!!.  We should not even reprimand these men.  Where is our apology.  Those nut jobs kille Christians and destroy our bible and we do nothing.  One of their rags of evil is burned and they think it is an excuse to murder innocent people.  These people are savages.  We will never bring peace to these people.  They want world dominance and they will not stop until they get it.  We need to listen to Ron Paul and get out men out of these countries.  Especially when we have a Muslim in the White House.  Let those people kill each other.  Most Americans could care less.  When our own government puts other countries before their own that is the time to drastically change course.  They are putting nature before man with their eco-radical environmental policies, built on lies, with the real objective of creating a one world government.  And now they put other countries before America.  And this President should be impeached!!!  If Obama gets elected again you might as well turn out the lights on America.  Come June there will be the 20th anniversary of the RIO summit and I can assure you it is Obama's intent to make the final deal to sell the US to the UN.  Again, Ron Paul has been saying for years we must withdraw from the UN but do any of those paid puppets in DC listen or even care.  NO.  They all think they will get a seat at the UN table.  Useful Idiots is what they are and that include Obama.  When they are done with these fools they will out them just like Hitler did to his useful idiots.  Useful idiots know too much and must be destroyed.  So all you useful idiots you better wake up and get on the right side of things before it too late for you and our country.

I think they should give them a metal and promote them.Damn rag heads are just blood thirsty.

No, they are just acting like the victim culture created here over the past few liberal decades. Pull your panties up and keep moving!

All ado about nothing. Someone made a mistake, no doubt enlisted members who will be turned into "scapegoats for the empire." Big question is why they had not received the required training prior to being transported to a Muslim nation? I think the OIC is the person responsible and needs to step up, but we all know what is going to happen. I wonder what the Muslim reaction would be if they discovered religious material of another faith.



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