Camp Bucca: The U.S. Prison Camp In Iraq That Unintentionally Created ISIS

A U.S. prison camp in Iraq created the Islamic State we see today by housing terrorists in close confines where they were able to devise their terror plans. Camp Bucca housed some of the most extreme Islamic terrorists in Iraq and set the stage for the leaders of ISIS to form the bonds and plans they needed to succeed outside of the prison camp’s walls.

The New York Post reports that the 800th Military Police Brigade, a reserve unit based on Long Island, were the ones who christened it Camp Bucca. The military brigade had no way of knowing at the time that the prison they were watching would be the birthplace of Islamic State and the atrocities which would result from their reign within the region.

A former officer at Camp Bucca says that they had “some bad guys,” but sometimes it was hard to tell which ones were the worse. The officer says that the camp was separated into groups of about 1,000 inmates each. The camp was divided based on sect as the brigade knew that Sunnis and Shiites could not be housed together due to conflict. However, the officer says they quickly realized that moderate Sunnis and extremist Sunnis could not be housed together either as conflict would arise. Therefore, the most extreme of the Sunnis were kept together in a unit, which at the time seemed like the best idea to keep peace.

However, now it is apparent that the separation in the camp led to more than the military could have ever imagined. The creation of the extremist Islamic State. Notably, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the current leader of ISIS, was housed in Camp Bucca for “several years” and helped spearhead the organization. Michael Weiss, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, notes that Camp Bucca didn’t create anti-American sentiment, but it did concentrate the problem.

“Bucca didn’t create the problem of anti-American sentiment, but it exacerbated the problem by localizing it and concentrating it. If you were a jihadist, Bucca became the place to be.”

According to the Daily Mail, plans for the extremist group were found written on U.S. issued boxer shorts that the inmates wore. In fact, ISIS leader Abu Ahmed described his time in Camp Bucca as though it was summer camp with friends.

“We had so much time to sit and plan. It was the perfect environment. We all agreed to get together when we got out. The way to reconnect was easy. We wrote each other’s details on the elastic of our boxer shorts. When we got out, we called. Everyone who was important to me was written on white elastic. I had their phone numbers, their villages,”

What do you think about Camp Bucca setting the stage for the creation of the Islamic State?

[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Wilson]