Thirteen With the C.I.A. Sought by Italy in a Kidnapping

By STEPHEN GREY and DON VAN NATTA, New York Times
Published: June 25, 2005 (read full text)
MILAN, June 24 – An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 officers and operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency on charges that they seized an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and flew him to Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said Friday.
The judge, Chiara Nobili of Milan, signed the arrest warrants on Wednesday for 13 C.I.A. operatives who are suspected of seizing an imam named Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as he walked to his mosque here for noon prayers on Feb. 17, 2003.
It is unclear what prompted the issuance of the warrants, but Judge Guido Salvini said in May that it was “certain” that Mr. Nasr had been seized by “people belonging to foreign intelligence networks interested in interrogating him and neutralizing him, to then hand him over to Egyptian authorities.”
Mr. Nasr, who was under investigation before his disappearance for possible links to Al Qaeda, is still missing, and his family and friends say he was tortured repeatedly by Egyptian jailers.
The detailed warrants remained sealed in a Milan courthouse on Friday. But copies obtained by The New York Times show that 13 American citizens, all identified in the documents as either C.I.A. employees or as having links to the agency, are wanted to stand trial on kidnapping charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 10 years and 8 months in prison. The Americans’ whereabouts are unknown.
One of those wanted, identified in the court papers as the agency’s top officer in Milan, is described as “having coordinated the mission and also guaranteeing connections and assistance to others involved in the crime.” He left Milan and flew to Egypt five days after the abduction, the warrant says.

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