. . .However, Maulvi Khaliq Dad, a top Afghan religious leader who was on a different panel appointed by President Hamid Karzai to investigate the incident, claimed the burning was intentional.
Dad said U.S. officials informed Afghan authorities about their suspicions that notes inside the books were being used as a way for detainees to communicate with comrades outside the prison. The Americans believed that a bookseller, who had a contract to take care of the library, was acting as a mediator and told him not to show up for work on the day that two translators were scouring the materials.
The translators later told the Afghan delegation that U.S. officials had told them that the books pulled from the shelves were headed for storage.
According to Dad’s account, the books were kept in a place where refuse is picked up and taken to a garbage burn pit on the base. Afghan workers at the base noticed that they were religious books and notified an Afghan army commander who questioned U.S. troops about the books and was satisfied when he was told they would be stored somewhere safe.
But the Afghan workers later noticed the books had been set on fire. The workers and two Afghan officers rescued 216 books, including 48 Qurans, from being burned, Dad said. They were shouting and pulling the books from the burn pit, preventing the U.S. troops from throwing the remaining four cartons of books into the fire, he said.
“They lied to the Afghan workers and the Afghan National Army officers, telling them they were going to store the books in a container, then they went and burned the books. If it was not intentional, they would not have lied,” Dad said. . .