Bilal Hussein, right, shown here before his 2006 arrest, converses with other journalists outside the Ramadi Government Center in Iraq.
The U.S. military in Iraq freed Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein Wednesday after holding him without charge for more than two years.Quote has been trimmed
The army announced on Monday that it would release the 36-year-old from military custody because a review had concluded that "he no longer presents an imperative threat to security."
U.S. officials had said he was held for "imperative reasons of security" but neither laid charges against him nor gave more details of their allegations.
In November 2007, U.S. military lawyers said Hussein would soon face criminal charges and he would be turned over to the Iraqi legal system. A special judicial panel in Baghdad ordered his release earlier this month, saying he was covered by an Iraqi amnesty law.
Hussein and his employers maintained his innocence throughout the entire time he was in custody.
He was a shopkeeper in the embattled Iraqi city of Fallujah when he was hired as general helper and fixer by the Associated Press in 2004. Trained in photography and reporting, Hussein stayed in Fallujah during the sustained U.S. marine assault on the city in 2004, photographing not only American operations but also militant and insurgent activity.