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.

 

US expresses horror at South Sudan violence

Syrian MP first-ever challenger for first-ever presidential election

Egypt's next president will have to deal with frustrated workers

Rival Palestinian leaders agree on national unity govt

Dubai's Emaar posts huge Q1 profit

Hezbollah veto dashes Geagea dreams of presidency

UN aid chiefs make impassionate call for Syria access

Police brigadier general killed in Cairo bomb attack

11 new MERS infections registered in Saudi

EU denounces Syria plans for June 3 election

Iran envoy row fails to make headway at UN

Amnesty: Qatar fails to protect domestic workers

US will deliver 10 Apache choppers to Egypt to counter terrorism

Jumblatt backs lawmaker Henri Helou for Lebanon presidency

Global chemical watchdog: Syria weapons handover at 86.5 percent

Kerry ‘prefers’ Cold War-like situation to current complex challenges

Israel to call up Christian Arabs for military service

Egypt prosecutors submit new evidence in Jazeera trial

Families of Iran prisoners break silence over abuses at notorious Evin

Lebanon sends rare aid to its territory in Syria

Iran divorce rate increases amid slow population growth

Suspected militant attacks kill four Yemen officers in two days

Distrust casts shadow over South Kordofan peace talks

Ali Tarhuni heads Libya constituent assembly

Washington revisits story of Syria chemical weapons

PM Erdogan to tour Europe for expat presidency votes

Erdogan to May Day protesters: Give up on your hopes of Taksim!

Palestine plays down threat to dismantle PA

South Sudan army battle rebels as insurgents target oil fields

Two Somali MPs shot dead in 24 hours

MERS death toll keeps climbing in Saudi

Court deals blow to US administration on drone attacks

Berber protesters clash anew with Algeria police

US has 'indications' of new chemical attacks in Syria

Blood flows in Iraq as general election looms next week

Saudi Arabia sacks Health Minister as MERS toll rises

South Sudan Rebels massacre ‘hundreds’ of civilians in Bentiu

Battle for presidency underway in Lebanon without clear frontrunner

Mauritania goes to polls to pick new president on June 21

A milestone for Libya: Constituent assembly starts drafting new constitution

Gaza in new attempt to reach most-wanted Palestinian reconciliation

Civil war fails to dissuade Syria regime: Presidential date fixed for June 3

Turkey agrees to increase shipments of natural gas from Russia

Palestinians in Gaza fire rockets into Israel

Saudi sentences five to death over 2003 Qaeda attacks