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To get the warrants, complainants and witnesses signed court affidavits and appeared before a judge. By doing so, they identified themselves and risked retribution from terror suspects and their allies. Despite that danger, the court in Muqdadiya issued about 700 warrants for people thought to be extremists, Iraqi police and U.S. forces in Muqdadiyah said.

Warrants in the Baghdad area could be obtained by Iraqi security forces from the Ministry of Interior. Whether U.S. forces and their Iraqi counterparts could obtain standing warrants for “most wanted” terror suspects is unclear.

Maj. Rob McMillan, operations officer with 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, said any early start of the mandated warrant searches would help identify problems in procedures.

“This is the Army and we like to practice things,” he said.