Testimony: ‘Bait’ a lure for militants

first_imgAn Army spokesman, Paul Boyce, said Monday that the Army does not discuss specific methods for “targeting enemy combatants” publicly, and that no classified program authorizes the use of “drop weapons” to make a killing appear justified. The court-martial of one of the accused soldiers, Spc. Jorge Sandoval Jr., is scheduled to begin in Baghdad on Wednesday. Under a program developed by a Defense Department warfare unit, Army snipers have begun using a new method to kill Iraqis suspected of being insurgents, planting fake weapons and bomb-making material as bait and then killing anyone who picks up them up, according to testimony presented in a military court. The existence of the classified “baiting program,” as it has come to be known, was disclosed as part of defense lawyers’ efforts to respond to murder charges the Army pressed this summer against three members of a Ranger sniper team. Each soldier is accused of killing an unarmed Iraqi in three separate incidents between April and June near Iskandariya. In sworn statements, soldiers testifying for the defense have said the sniper team was employing a baiting program developed by the Pentagon’s Asymmetrical Warfare Group, which met with and gave equipment to Ranger sniper teams in Iraq in January. The Washington Post first described the baiting program in an article Monday. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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