“The Al Mahdi army [Shi’a cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s paramilitary force] has a heavy presence in the regular police force, U.S. and Iraqi authorities said. One high-ranking U.S. military officer estimated that up to 90% of the 35,000 police officers working in northeast Baghdad were affiliated with Al Mahdi. The U.S. officer said that ‘half of them are in a unit called *the Punishment Committee,* ‘ suspected of committing abuses against civilians believed to be flouting Islamic laws or the militia’s authority. The officer said that Sunni Arab Muslims were frequently targeted by the committee. Haider Albadi, spokesman for Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari, confirmed the existence of the secret police squad and its possible involvement in mass slayings. ‘We are investigating that,’ Albadi said. ‘We know there is infiltration in our security forces–we know that for sure.’ ”

 – Solomon Moore, “Killings Linked to Shiite Squads in Iraqi Police Force,” The Los Angeles Times, Nov. 29, 2005