The Mission of Iraq, which sits on a wealthy Upper East Side block near Central Park, has a dark secret: it’s basement was used as a jail equipped for torture under Saddam Hussein’s regime, The Post has learned.
When he rose to power in 1979, the despot had the terrifying “detention room” installed inside the five-story building at 14 East 79th Street — right across from billionaire former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s home, according to two Iraqi officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Saddam’s henchmen – known as Mukhabarat agents — frequently imprisoned local Iraqis in the basement for up to 15 days at a time, using them as leverage to get their relatives back in the homeland to surrender and cooperate with the tyrannical government, the officials said.
“It was a dark room. The doors were reinforced in a way that nobody could break in or out. You didn’t need to sound proof it,” one official said. The other official added, “You’re not going to hear someone screaming down there,” the other official said.
The first room acted as their office; the second was a communications center where they used an encrypted system to send messages back and forth to Baghdad; and the third was the detention facility that was secured by a giant metal door with heavy steel bars that ran across it.Read More: New York Post
To keep their operation strictly covert, Mukhabarat blacked out a skylight in the roof of the five-story townhouse to keep the US Air Force and satellites from peering in and kept a watchful eye on American spies conducting wiretap surveillance from a car across the street, the officials said.