Americans with illegal Iraq War souvenirs go unnoticed - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Americans with illegal Iraq War souvenirs go unnoticed

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Swords, artifacts and other items looted from Saddam Hussein's palaces are still turning up for sale online and at auctions. In some cases they have been traced to American government employees who took them as souvenirs or war trophies.

The suspects have not been punished, even as some of the artifacts have been turned back over to Iraq at ceremonies. The lack of prosecution comes to light as the Iraqi government seeks diplomatic respect and struggles to save its ancient sites from the rampages of the Islamic State group.

In recent cases, agents from Homeland Security Investigations, a division of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, have suggested criminal charges against Americans only to be rebuffed by federal prosecutors in Connecticut and Maryland.

A spokesman said there is no office at the Pentagon that tracked cases involving Iraq war trophies. Aside from some firearms cases, the Pentagon could not provide examples of any prosecutions.

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