USA: over 300 CIA torture flights to Europe

Torture and Condoleezza Rice: cartoonFrom British daily The Guardian:

Stephen Grey and Luke Harding in Berlin

Thursday December 1, 2005

The transatlantic row over the secret transfer of terror suspects by the Bush administration took a new twist yesterday when it emerged that more than 300 flights operated by the CIA had landed at European airports.

According to flight logs seen by the Guardian, Britain was second only to Germany as a transit hub for the CIA, which stands accused of operating a covert network of interrogation centres in eastern Europe.

Several European governments have launched urgent investigations into whether clandestine CIA flights were used in the aftermath of September 11 to transfer Islamist prisoners to third countries where they could be interrogated beyond the reach of international law.

The allegations have provoked a furore in Europe.

See also here.

6 thoughts on “USA: over 300 CIA torture flights to Europe

  1. Original Message ——– Subject: CIA: Muslim terrorists to & from Bosnia – BLOWBACK
    Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 16:47:14 -0500
    From: jpmaher
    To: jpm db

    Clinton brought thousands of Mujahedin into Bosnia to fight the Serbs

    B92, Belgrade
    April 26, 2006

    Terrorist bases in Bosnia? | 12:46 April 26 | B92

    BANJA LUKA — Security Agencies in Bosnia-Herzegovina are investigating

    According to Banja Luka daily Nezavisne Novine, who quote unnamed sources,
    the Bosnia-Herzegovina Security Agencies are investigating individuals and
    groups who may be plotting terrorist attacks. The informal leader of the
    former Mujehadin community in the village of Bocinja in central Bosnia, Al
    Hussein Imad, known as Abu Hamza, threatened that the recent revoking of
    illegally received Bosnian citizenship from Muslim supporters could result
    in protests, blockades and various other forms of unrest.

    It is hard to say how many of the almost 6,000 Mujehadins who fought in the
    Al Mujehadin brigades during the war were given Bosnian citizenship. It is
    estimated that several hundreds of them now have Bosnian passports. Much of
    Europe is in fear of such groups, especially after the arrests of a number
    of suspects who were preparing terrorist actions in several countries,
    Bosnia-Herzegovina included, at the end of last year.

    According to Sky News, the greatest number of Mujehadins living in Bosnia
    came from the Near East. Many of them received new passports under new

    Western Security Agencies are pressuring Bosnia-Herzegovina to find and run
    checks on these people, who may be in contact with the three citizens that
    were arrested on suspicions of terrorism in Sweden last year. Seven more
    people were then arrested in Sarajevo under similar suspicions.

    Kevin Carty, the European Union’s deputy police chief in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
    said that those who were arrested had ammunition, explosives and fire arms
    which they were planning on using, perhaps in Bosnia, and perhaps in other
    countries as well.

    “They were planning some kind of terrorist activity and that is what worries
    us, that people in Bosnia-Herzegovina are involved in this.” Carty said.

    The information of some international security services claims that there
    are some people responsible for the September 11 attack on the US hiding out
    in Bosnia, for example Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was wounded in the
    Bosnian war.

    Former Republic of Srpska Internal Affairs Minister Darko Matijasevic, said
    that that much time has been wasted in arresting the most extreme Mujehadins
    because of a lack of communication and unity between the different entities
    in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


    “The main goal is to infiltrate the community and create a number of
    elements regarding logistical support for operative units, leaders and
    individuals who pose potential threats to Europe.” Matijasevic said. ========================================================= … The six Algerians – including four with Bosnian citizenship – were arrested
    in October 2001 …


    CIA Flew Suspects From Bosnia To Guantanamo Via Turkey
    By JAN SLIVA – Associated Press

    April 26, 2006

    BRUSSELS, Belgium – A lawyer for six Guantanamo Bay prisoners told a
    European Parliament committee yesterday that his clients were taken from
    Bosnia on an American plane that made stops in Turkey and elsewhere in

    Stephen Oleksey also told the committee that Bosnian authorities cooperated
    in extraditing the Algerian terror suspects because they feared their
    country would lose American aid.

    “The U.S. charge d’affaires told Bosnia that if these men are not arrested
    the U.S. would withhold its support to Bosnia,” Mr. Oleksey told the
    committee investigating allegations that American intelligence agents
    interrogated Al Qaeda suspects at clandestine prisons in Eastern Europe and
    transported some on secret flights that passed through Europe.

    The six Algerians – including four with Bosnian citizenship – were arrested
    in October 2001 after American intelligence indicated they were planning
    attacks on American and British embassies in Sarajevo and an American
    military base in the northeastern city of Tuzla.

    In a well-documented case, Bosnian authorities handed them over to American
    authorities in a secret late-night operation in 2002, just a few hours
    before the country’s human rights court was to order their release for lack
    of evidence. The six, who had worked in Bosnia for several years, all ended
    up in the American military detention center in Guantanamo Bay – on a flight
    that Mr. Oleksey said originated at the American Air Force’s Ramstein Air

    The arrest of the Algerians in 2001 was widely covered by the European
    press. America has not confirmed or denied Mr. Oleksey’s account.

    Mr. Oleksey told the committee his information came from documents obtained
    under the American Freedom of Information Act and interviews with his
    clients, whom he has visited seven times at the detention center in Cuba.

    “From that information you can discern the plane was on standby in Ramstein,
    flew to Tuzla, then to Turkey, took on additional detainees,” he said. “It
    was a grossly unlawful, wholly extralegal transfer.”

    American authorities said the six included Bensayah Belkacem, suspected of
    serving as Osama bin Laden’s top lieutenant in Europe.

    Belkacem was accused by America of making several phone calls to one of Mr.
    bin Laden’s aides – the operations chief of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Abu

    Bosnia’s highest court and the country’s top human rights panel both ordered
    the release of the men, saying the government lacked evidence that they were
    plotting post-September 11, 2001, attacks on American facilities in Bosnia.

    Mr. Oleksey’s testimony supported earlier testimony by human rights
    activists who say America carried out secret flights from Europe to transfer
    terror suspects to detention centers abroad where they were tortured.

    A draft of a preliminary report on the European Parliament committee’s
    findings was to be presented today.

    Clandestine detention centers and secret flights via or from Europe to
    countries where suspects could face torture would breach the continent’s
    human rights treaties.


  2. Pingback: Polish CIA torture prison investigated more thoroughly | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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