First Published: 2005-03-07

 
CIA uses secret way to torture terror suspects
 

CBS reports CIA secretly jets terror suspects to countries known to use torture for interrogation.

 

Middle East Online

Part of CIA's 'rendition' program

WASHINGTON - The CIA uses a secret jet to ferry terror suspects for interrogation to countries known to use torture, according to a report aired late Sunday.

CBS television's "60 Minutes" program videotaped the Boeing 737 on a runway at Glasgow Airport in Scotland, saying it was able to trace it through a series of companies and executives that apparently exist only on paper.

It said the plane had made at least 600 flights to 40 countries, all after the September 11, 2001, attacks, including 30 trips to Jordan, 19 to Afghanistan, 17 to Morocco, and 16 to Iraq.

The plane also went to Egypt, Libya and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to the report.

The aircraft is part of the Central Intelligence Agency's so-called "rendition" program, in which suspects are sent to foreign governments for interrogation.

The agency has not formally acknowledged the program's existence.

A German national, which CBS identified as Khalid El-Masri, told a reporter he was on vacation in Macedonia when he was arrested by police and held in Macedonia for three weeks and then brought to the airport, beaten by masked men, drugged and put aboard the 737.

The plane left Skopje, Macedonia, and went to Baghdad and then Kabul, with El-Masri saying he awoke in a jail cell where his captors said, "You're in a country without laws and no one knows where you are," CBS News quoted the former detainee as saying.

"It was very clear to me that he meant I could stay in my cell for 20 years or be buried somewhere," El-Masri told the network.

He added that his fellow prisoners in the American-run jail were Saudi Arabians, Tanzanians, a Yemeni and a Pakistani who had lived in the United States.

El-Masri said he had been in solitary confinement for five months and then released without an explanation.

According to the report, the jet also made 10 trips to Uzbekistan, where former British ambassador Craig Murray said the jet's nominal owner, Premier Executive Transport Services, kept a small staff at the airport in Tashkent.

Murray said Uzbek interrogators use unusually cruel methods, including "techniques of drowning and suffocation, rape ... and also the insertion of limbs in boiling liquid."

Murray said he had complained to his superiors that information was being obtained by torture and sent his deputy to the CIA station chief to inquire about the practice.

"The CIA definitely knows," he told the television program, adding that his deputy had confirmed that evidence "probably was obtained under torture but the CIA didn't see that as a problem."

He was ordered to return to London four months ago and has since left government service, CBS News pointed out.

 

Egypt, France agree to step up cooperation against terrorism

Syria, Russia support UN in suspending Aleppo fighting

Pope to rebuild bridges with Islamic world in Turkey visit

OPEC meets for pivotal decision on oil output

Lebanese diva Sabah passes away

Powers to push for Iran nuclear deal before new deadline

Iraqi forces, tribesmen battle IS jihadists in Ramadi

Egypt jails 78 minors for pro-Morsi protests

US slams Assad regime for ‘continued slaughter’

Regime indiscriminate strikes kill scores in Islamic State 'capital' in Syria

Putin meets with Syria Foreign Minister in Black Sea retreat of Sochi

Britain rushes to fight terror with controversial bill

Gunmen kill 3 Egypt policemen in fresh terrorist attack

Iran lawmakers finally approve third Rouhani science minister pick

Turkey clears only suspect in alleged poisoning of former president

Huthis humiliate Al-Ahmar clan with capture of Sanaa headquarters

Christians hold out in Syria second city despite Daesh threat

Libya’s Derna emerges as new IS stronghold

Egypt to reopen Rafah border crossing Wednesday

Egypt leader begins two-day trip to France

Tribesmen blow up Yemen’s main oil pipeline

Russia trims oil output

UN chief calls for halt to Libya air strikes

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'