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.

 

Separate Syria air strikes kill at least 32

Turkish FM in Switzerland amid rising tensions with Europe

Two more 'significant arrests' over London attack

UN says Israel has ignored resolution on illegal settlements

Cities, monuments dim lights for Earth Hour

Gunmen kill Hamas official in Gaza

Veteran politician says Turkey referendum a 'test' for Kurds

More Algerian women in work, but husbands control wages

Beirut university settles US lawsuit over Hezbollah

1.1 million weekend travellers from Dubai hit by laptop ban

Shiite Lebanese women endure painful custody battles

Russia, China seek Iraq chemical weapons probe

Besieged Syrians struggle with dwindling dialysis supplies

Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels

Syria says peace talks must first focus on 'terrorism'

12 Syrian refugees dead after boat sinks off Turkey coast

Mosul displaced head into unknown

As war keeps them away, Yemen children dream of school

Ousted Egyptian president Mubarak freed from detention

Iraq's Sadr threatens boycott if election law unchanged

Israel, US fail to reach settlement agreement

Yemen rebel missile kills Saudi soldier

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgiumís Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings

Qaeda, IS developing harder-to-detect bombs say experts

World leaders condemn Britain terror attack

Terrorist attack at Londonís Houses of Parliament

2016 saw sharp rise in illegal Israeli settlement projects

US-led coalition vows lasting victory against IS

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges

Humanitarian groups demand access to Yemen civilians suffering 'open-air massacre'

33 killed in US-led air strike on north Syria