TARGETED

Islamist Gangs Hunt Iraqi Gays

As security improves in Iraq, radical Islamist gangs have reduced their street patrols and ramped up vigilance of Internet chat rooms, trolling for gay men and women who, as one extremist put it, "are destroying Islam." The Guardian reports that more than 130 gay Iraqis have been brutally murdered since the beginning of 2009, and that the number is likely even higher. One extremist reportedly spends at least six hours a day hunting on the Internet for his next gay victim, who could, like many others, be left brutally murdered in the street as a stark warning. One mother found her son's "body with signs of torture, his anus filled with glue and without his genitals." One human-rights group has called Iraq, "the worst place for homosexuals on Earth." The violence against gay men and women in Iraq is a relatively new phenomenon; homosexuality was not criminalized during Saddam Hussein's rule.