Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT)

What is IHAT?

The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) was an organisation set up to review and investigate allegations of abuse of Iraqi civilians by UK armed forces personnel in Iraq during the period of 2003 to July 2009.

The alleged offences ranged from murder to low-level violence from the start of the military campaign in Iraq, in March 2003, through the major combat operations of April 2003 and the following years spent maintaining security as part of the Multi-National Force and mentoring and training Iraqi security forces.

MOD funded the IHAT, consistent with its obligations to ensure that allegations were investigated in compliance with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

IHAT was independent of the military chain of command for the purposes of its investigations. Once an IHAT investigation was complete the findings were referred to the relevant authority: any cases identifying credible evidence of potential serious criminal acts were referred to the Director of Service Prosecutions, in accordance with the Armed Forces Act 2006.

For more information on how the military criminal justice system works, please see the website of the Service Prosecuting Authority. Where there was not credible evidence, the cases were passed on to MOD which decided whether a case should be referred to the Iraq Fatality Investigations (IFI).

Early in 2017, the Secretary of State for Defence announced IHAT would close on 30 June 2017 and the remaining investigations would be reintegrated back into the service police system.

Allegations under investigation

To see information on the cases that have been investigated by IHAT, please refer to this table.

Information for complainants

Complainants can find out information on IHAT’s cases in this table: Information for claimants (PDF, 379KB, 16 pages)

Work completed

Around 3,400 allegations of unlawful killings and ill treatment were received by the IHAT, with the vast majority coming in the last few years.

The team worked hard to weed out claims where there was not a case to answer or it was considered not proportionate to conduct a full investigation – around 70 percent of the allegations were sifted out and never reached full investigation as a result of this.

IHAT used a detailed investigative strategy looking at all of the claims to ensure that credible allegations of criminality were investigated.

You can access the IHAT work completed table here. This table only shows those cases that have closed after reaching full investigation and is only updated once the claimant has been notified of the closure. This is why the table will show different figures to above.

Quarterly updates

A written summary issued by IHAT on progress made is available here.

Service Police Legacy Investigations (SPLI)

In early 2017, the Secretary of State for Defence announced that IHAT would close and any remaining Iraq legacy investigations would be reintegrated into the service police system. SPLI took over these remaining investigations at the beginning of July 2017. More information on the work of the SPLI is available.