Independent report

Al-Sweady inquiry report

Report of the public inquiry into allegations of unlawful killing and ill treatment of Iraqi nationals by British troops in Iraq in 2004.


Volume 1 complete version (print-ready PDF)

Volume 1: cover (web-optimised PDF)

Volume 1: contents (web-optimised PDF)

Introduction (web-optimised PDF)

Inquiry set up (web-optimised PDF)

Investigative work (web-optimised PDF)

Oral hearings (web-optimised PDF)

Procedural issues (web-optimised PDF)

Standard of proof (web-optimised PDF)

Operational context (web-optimised PDF)

The “Battle of Danny Boy” (web-optimised PDF)

The Iraqi deceased (web-optimised PDF)

Volume 2 complete version (print-ready PDF)

Volume 2: cover (web-optimised PDF)

The arrival of the detainees at Camp Abu Naji (web-optimised PDF)

The processing of the detainees at Camp Abu Naji (web-optimised PDF)

Overnight detention at Camp Abu Naji (web-optimised PDF)

Processing at the DTDF at Shaibah (web-optimised PDF)

Detention at the DTDF compound (web-optimised PDF)

The Royal Military Police investigation (web-optimised PDF)

Recommendations (web-optimised PDF)

In conclusion (web-optimised PDF)

Glossary and acronyms (web-optimised PDF)

List of witnesses (web-optimised PDF)

List of issues (web-optimised PDF)

List of recommendations (web-optimised PDF)

Report by Clive Evans (web-optimised PDF)

Report by Dr Payne-James (web-optimised PDF)

Report by Professor Sommer

Map of Camp Abu Naji

Annotated photograpgh of second contact location

Memorandam (web-optimised PDF)


Sir Thayne Forbes has published the report of his public inquiry into allegations of unlawful killing and ill treatment of Iraqi nationals by British troops in Iraq in 2004.

His report has established beyond doubt that all the most serious allegations made against British soldiers in what became known as the Battle of Danny Boy and its aftermath have been found to be wholly without foundation and entirely the product of deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility. There were some instances of ill treatment of 9 Iraqi detainees by the British military during their overnight custody in May 2004 at Camp Abu Naji in southern Iraq but there were relatively minor when compared with the original very serious allegations.

The events with which the inquiry was concerned commenced with a deadly, planned and co-ordinated armed ambush of British troops on Route 6 on 14 May 2004. That armed ambush was carried out by a large number of heavily armed Iraqi insurgents, including the 9 detainees, who were intent on inflicting as much damage upon British troops as they could. A fierce battle ensued which resulted in 28 Iraqis being killed and 9 live Iraqis taken prisoner back to Camp Abu Naji where they were detained overnight prior to their transfer to the Divisional Temporary Detention Facility at Shaibah Logistics base where they were detained for a further 4 months prior to their release to the Iraqi Authorities.

Sir Thayne makes 9 recommendations where he considers certain practices were unsatisfactory or deficient. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has accepted all of the recommendations in principle.

Published 17 December 2014