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

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