Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Top-secret interrogation facility

The CIA is "secretly" holding senior al-Qaida members in Jordan:

The Central Intelligence Agency runs a top-secret interrogation facility in Jordan, where at least 11 detainees who are considered Al-Qaida's most senior cadre are being held, Haaretz has learned from international intelligence sources.

Since the war in Afghanistan ended three years ago, reports spoke of these special detainees being held outside the United States, but no location was mentioned. A report on these prisoners issued Tuesday by the Human Rights Watch organization claims they are being held somewhere so secret that U.S. President George Bush asked the CIA heads not to report it to him.

The international intelligence sources who spoke to Haaretz are considered experts in surveillance and analysis of Al-Qaida and are involved in interrogating the detainees. Most of the Al-Qaida detainees who were arrested in Afghanistan in the course of the war or its aftermath were transfered to the American base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A minority were held in Pakistan, where some had been picked up, and were later moved to Jordan.

It is not known where precisely in the Hashemite kingdom they are being held, but they are thought to be at a secret facility belonging to Jordanian intelligence or at a secret base. Their detention outside the U.S. enables CIA interrogators to apply interrogation methods that are banned by U.S. law, and to do so in a country where cooperation with the Americans is particularly close, thereby reducing the danger of leaks.

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