Alleged bomb plotter claims two and a half years of interrogation under US and UK supervision in ‘ghost prisons’ abroad
Stephen Grey and Ian Cobain
Tuesday August 2, 2005
A former London schoolboy accused of being a dedicated al-Qaida terrorist has given the first full account of the interrogation and alleged torture endured by so-called ghost detainees held at secret prisons around the world.
For two and a half years US authorities moved Benyam Mohammed around a series of prisons in Pakistan, Morocco and Afghanistan, before he was sent to Guantánamo Bay in September last year.
Mohammed, 26, who grew up in Notting Hill in west London, is alleged to be a key figure in terrorist plots intended to cause far greater loss of life than the suicide bombers of 7/7. One allegation, which he denies, is of planning to detonate a “dirty bomb” in a US city; another is that he and an accomplice planned to collapse a number of apartment blocks by renting ground-floor flats to seal, fill with gas from cooking appliances, and blow up with timed detonators.
In an statement given to his newly appointed lawyer, Mohammed has given an account of how he was tortured for more than two years after being questioned by US and British officials who he believes were from the FBI and MI6. As well as being beaten and subjected to loud music for long periods, he claims his genitals were sliced with scalpels. Continue reading Suspect's tale of travel and torture
By Scott Shane, Stephen Grey and Margot Williams
c. The New York Times
Tuesday 31 May 2005
Smithfield, NC – The airplanes of Aero Contractors Ltd. take off from Johnston County Airport here, then disappear over the scrub pines and fields of tobacco and sweet potatoes. Nothing about the sleepy Southern setting hints of foreign intrigue. Nothing gives away the fact that Aero’s pilots are the discreet bus drivers of the battle against terrorism, routinely sent on secret missions to Baghdad, Cairo, Tashkent and Kabul.
When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job. If agency experts need to fly overseas in a hurry after the capture of a prized prisoner, a plane will depart Johnston County and stop at Dulles Airport outside Washington to pick up the C.I.A. team on the way.
(Full text of original NYT article….
mirrors include..http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/053105Y.shtml )
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.” Continue reading Thirteen With the C.I.A. Sought by Italy in a Kidnapping
A former CIA official has confirmed suspicions that dozens of terror suspects have been flown to jails in Middle Eastern countries where torture is routinely practised, and without reference to courts of law.
Michael Scheuer, who once headed the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and left the CIA last November after a 22-year career, said the practice, known as “extraordinary rendition”, was seen by the US as a key tactic in its war on terror.
“The bottom line is getting anyone off the streets who is involved in acts of terrorism is a worthwhile activity,” he told the BBC’s File On 4 programme.
Details of the program, first broadcast on BBC radio on February 8th, are at:
A full transcript is now on the BBC website at
this address ..
first published in the Sunday times, November 14, 2004
by Stephen Grey
AN executive jet is being used by the American intelligence agencies to fly terrorist suspects to countries that routinely use torture in their prisons.
The movements of the Gulfstream 5 leased by agents from the United States defence department and the CIA are detailed in confidential logs obtained by The Sunday Times which cover more than 300 flights.
Countries with poor human rights records to which the Americans have delivered prisoners include Egypt, Syria and Uzbekistan, according to the files. The logs have prompted allegations from critics that the agency is using such regimes to carry out “torture by proxy” — a charge denied by the American government. Continue reading US accused of ‘torture flights’
Cover story – New Statesman
Monday 17th May 2004
Stephen Grey uncovers a secret global network of prisons and planes that allows the US to hand over its enemies for interrogation, and sometimes torture, by the agents of its more unsavoury allies
8 October 2002. Over the Atlantic, at 30,000 feet, on board a Gulfstream jet, Maher Arar looked out through the portholes of the private plane at the clouds beneath and the red glow of dawn. Stretching out on the wide, upholstered leather seat, he glanced across at the large video screen on which was displayed the path of the plane from its departure point near New York, onwards to Washington, DC and then to its final refuelling point at Portland, Maine, before heading across the ocean. A telecommunications engineer in Ottawa, Canada, Maher was used to air travel – but not to such luxury.
His companions – specialists attached to the CIA – were preparing to switch on another in-flight film, an action movie. Maher could think only of what fate lay ahead of him when he reached the country to where the United States was now sending him for interrogation and from where his family had once fled – Syria.
He recalls: “I knew that Syria was a country that tortured its prisoners. I was silent and submissive; just asking myself over and over again: ‘How did I end up in this situation? What is going to happen to me now?'” Continue reading America's Gulag