The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Current timeline only
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 



  View mode (info):
  Ordering (info):
  Time period (info):

General Topic Areas

Rendition
legalProceedings (41)
Human Rights Groups (45)
Coverup (48)
Impunity (21)
Prisoner deaths (20)
High-level decisions and actions (131)
Indications of Abuse (36)
Statements/writings about torture (8)
Public statements (53)
Detainments (48)
Independent investigations (1)
Reports/Investigations (41)
Suicides (1)
Private contractors (4)
Criticisms of US (41)
Indefinate Detention (3)
Military commissions (32)
Disciplinary actions (15)
Supreme Court Decisions (4)
Media (26)
Aftermath (14)

Types of abuses performed by Americans

Use of dogs (11)
Forced confessions (9)
Mental abuse (7)
Sexual humiliation (34)
Physical assault (73)
Stress positions (22)
Electrodes (3)
Intimidation/threats (22)
Sleep deprivation (23)
Poor conditions (18)
Suppression Religion (7)
Medical services denied (7)
Abrogation of rights (7)
Involuntary drugs (4)
Deception (1)
Isolation (16)
Extreme temperatures (16)
Insufficient food (11)
Dangerous conditions (5)
Ghost detainees (5)
Sexual temptation (2)

Documents

Presidential directives (3)
Internal memos/reports (33)

Specific Events

Qala-i-Janghi massacre (20)

US Bases and Interrogation Centers

Guantanamo (141)
Abu Ghraib (145)
Camp Cropper (10)
Camp Bucca (8)
Camp Rhino (2)
Ariana (1)
Al Jafr (5)
Bagram (40)
Camp Iron Horse (1)
Fire Base Tycze (1)
BIF (1)
LSA Diamondback (1)
Diego Garcia (3)
Asadabad (1)
Kandahar (18)
USS Peleliu (3)
USS Bataan (1)
Sheberghan (1)
Gardez (2)
Far' Falastin (5)
Sednaya (1)
Al Qaim (4)
Palestine Street Base (1)
US Base at Adhamiya (3)
Kabul (2)
Kohat (1)
Jalalabad (1)
Camp Whitehorse (2)
Packhorse (1)

People who have been detained

John Walker Lindh (32)
Maher Arar (11)
Abdullah (1)
Amanullah (1)
Jose Padilla (13)
Yaser Esam Hamdi (21)
Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (2)
Jamal Udeen (10)
Ali Sale Kayla al-Marri (5)
Mohamed al Chastaini (1)
Tarek Dergoul (11)
Ahmed Agiza (2)
Muhammed Al-Zery (2)
Abdul Razaq (2)
Noor Aghah (1)
Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni (5)
6 men in Bosnia (4)
Mohammed Saghir (1)
Mohamedou Oulad Slahi (1)
Mamdouh Habib (4)
Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed (1)
Mohammed Haydar Zammar (2)
Talaat Fouad Qassem (1)
5 men in Albania (1)
Sayed Abassin (3)
Omar al-Faruq (1)
Mullah Habibullah (2)
Dilawar (4)
Abdul Qayyum (1)
Saif ur-Rahman (1)
Khreisan Khalis Aballey (1)
Abdallah Khudhran al-Shamran (1)
Abd al-Rahman (1)
Najem Sa'doun Hattab (2)
Ibrahim Habaci (3)
Arif Ulusam (3)
Faha al Bahli (3)
Mahmud Sardar Issa (3)
Khalifa Abdi (3)
Saeed Abou Taleb (1)
Sohail Karimi (1)
Adil Al-Jazeeri (1)
Abed Hamed Mowhoush (4)
Saddam Salah al-Rawi (8)
Manadel al-Jamadi (3)
Bisher al-Rawi (4)
Jamil al-Banna (4)
Abdullah El-Janoudi (2)
Zakhim Shah (1)
Wahab al-Rawi (1)
Abdur Rahim (1)
Parkhudin (1)
Wazir Muhammad (2)
Mohammed Ismail Agha (1)
Abdurahman Khadr (2)
Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin (1)
Moazzam Begg (7)
Martin Mubanga (4)
Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul (3)
Abdul Wali (1)
Ala' Jassem Sa'ad (1)
Mohamed al-Khatani (4)
Saifullah Paracha (2)
David Hicks (3)
Feroz Abbasi (3)
Salim Ahmed Hamdan (6)
Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul (2)
Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi (2)
Adullah Almalk (1)
Ameen Saeed al-Sheikh (1)
Amjed Isail Waleed (2)
Haj Ali Shallal Abbas (1)
Abd Alwhab Youss (1)
Huda al-Azzawi (10)
Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh (1)
Assad (3)
Nori al-Yasseri (1)
Hussein Mohssein Mata al-Zayiadi (1)
Haidar (1)
Ahmed (1)
Ahzem (1)
Hashiem (1)
Mustafa (1)
Nahla al-Azzawi (4)
Ayad al-Azzawi (3)
Ali al-Azzawi (5)
Mu'taz al-Azzawi (4)
Khalid el-Masri (5)
Mehdi Ghezali (5)
Adil (1)
Abu Abdul Rahman (3)
Mourad Benchellali (1)
Nizar Sassi (2)
Imad Kanouni (1)
Brahim Yadel (1)
Hamed Abderrahman Ahmed (1)
Yasin Qasem Muhammad Ismail (1)
Khalid Abdullah Mishal al-Mutairi (1)
Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al-Odah (1)
Wael Kishk (1)
Ashraf Ibrahim (1)
A.Z. (1)
Mohammad Naim (1)
Sherbat Naim (1)
Ahmadullah (1)
Amadullah (0)
Muhammad Naim Farooq (1)
Wesam Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Deemawi (1)
Hussein Abdelkadr Youssouf Mustafa (3)
Shafiq Rasul (20)
Rhuhel Ahmed (21)
Asif Iqbal (21)
Khoja Mohammad (1)
Jamaal Belmar (1)
Haji Rohullah Wakil (1)
Abu Zubaida (1)
Alif Khan (2)
Ibrahim Fauzee (1)
Shah Mohammed (1)
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (2)
Sahim Alwan (3)
Mukhtar al-Bakri (3)
Faysal Galab (3)
Yahya Goba (3)
Yaseinn Taher (3)
Abdul Jabar (1)
Mullah Rocketti (1)
Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari (1)
Thamir Issawi (0)
Haydar Sabbar Abed (1)
Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri (1)
Jan Baz Khan (1)
Unnamed prisoners (42)
Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

 
  

Project: Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

Export to XML Printer Friendly View Email to a Friend Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size


1993-2004

       The United States begins a practice known as “rendition,” the official purpose of which is to bring suspected foreign criminals to justice. Suspects detained abroad are “rendered” to courts in the United States or other countries. In some cases they are transferred to countries with poor human rights records and tortured. Some are convicted, even put to death, without a fair trial. [Washington Post, 1/2/2005] The frequency of renditions increases dramatically after the September 11 attacks (see After September 11, 2001). [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; The New York Times, 3/9/2003]
 Additional Info 
          

1998

       Talaat Fouad Qassem, 38, a known leader of the Islamic Group, an Egyptian extremist organization, is arrested and detained in Croatia as he travels from Bosnia to Denmark, where he has been granted political asylum. Qassem, allegedly an associate of Ayman Zawahiri, the “number-two man in Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network,” is questioned aboard a US ship off the Croatian coast and then sent to Cairo, Egypt “where a military tribunal has already sentenced him to death in absentia.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Egyptian lawyers]
People and organizations involved: Talaat Fouad Qassem, Ayman al-Zawahiri
          

1998

       CIA officers working with police in Albania arrest and detain five members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad who the CIA suspects are planning to bomb the US Embassy in Tirana, Albania's capital. After only three days of interrogation, the five men are “flown to Egypt aboard a plane that [is] chartered by the CIA” where two of them are subsequently put to death. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002]
          

After September 11, 2001

       After the September 11 attacks, there is a dramatic increase in the frequency of US-requested “renditions.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Western diplomats, intelligence sources, officials] Officially, the original purpose of renditions was to bring suspected foreign criminals, such as drugpins, to justice (see 1993-2004). But after September 11, it is used predominantly to arrest and detain foreign nationals designated as suspected terrorists and bring them to foreign countries that are willing to hold them indefinitely for further questioning and without public proceedings. [Washington Post, 1/2/2005; The New York Times, 3/9/2003; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] According to one CIA officer interviewed by the Washington Post, after September 11, “The whole idea [becomes] a corruption of renditions—It's not rendering to justice, it's kidnapping.” [Washington Post, 1/2/2005] “There was a debate after 9/11 about how to make people disappear,” a former intelligence official will tell the New York Times in May 2004. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed former administration official] By the end of 2002, the number of terrorism suspects sent to foreign countries is in the thousands. Many of the renditions involve captives from the US operation in Afghanistan. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003 Sources: Unnamed Western diplomats, intelligence sources, officials] The countries receiving the rendered suspects are often known human rights violators like Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco, all of which have histories of using torture and other unlawful methods of interrogation. The rendition program often ignores local and international extradition laws. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] In fact, US officials have admitted that the justification for rendition is sometimes fabricated—the US requests that a suspect be rendered, and then the allied foreign government charges the person “with a crime of some sort.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/1/2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002 Sources: Unnamed US officials] After a suspect is relocated to another country, US intelligence agents may “remain closely involved” in the interrogations, sometimes even “doing [them] together” with the foreign government's intelligence service. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 5/11/2004; The New York Times, 3/9/2003 Sources: Unnamed US officials] The level of cooperation with Saudi interrogators is allegedly high. “In some cases,” according to one official, “we're able to observe through one-way mirrors the live investigations. In others, we usually get summaries. We will feed questions to their investigators.” He adds, however, “They're still very much in control.” [Washington Post, Thursday, 12/26/2002] Joint intelligence task forces, which consist of members from the CIA, FBI, and some other US law enforcement agencies, allegedly control to a large extent the approximately 800 terrorism suspects detained in Saudi Arabia. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004]
Countries involved in the practice of rendition -

Egypt - Amnesty International's 2003 annual report says that in Egypt, “Torture and ill-treatment of detainees continued to be systematic” during 2002. [Washington Post, 12/26/2002; Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Amnesty International, 2003]

Jordan - The State Department's 2001 annual human rights report states, “The most frequently alleged methods of torture include sleep deprivation, beatings on the soles of the feet, prolonged suspension with ropes in contorted positions, and extended solitary confinement.” US officials are quoted in the Washington Post in 2002 calling Jordan's interrogators “highly professional.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

Morocco - Morocco “has a documented history of torture, as well as longstanding ties to the CIA.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

Syria - Amnesty International's 2003 annual report notes: “Hundreds of political prisoners remained in prolonged detention without trial or following sentences imposed after unfair trials. Some were ill but were still held in harsh conditions. Ten prisoners of conscience were sentenced to up to 10 years' imprisonment after unfair trials before the Supreme State Security Court (SSSC) or the Criminal Court. There were fewer reports of torture and ill-treatment, but cases from previous years were not investigated. At least two people died in custody.” [Amnesty International, 2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]

 Additional Info 
          

(October 2001-2004)

       The United States government creates a multi-layered international system of detention centers and prison camps where suspected terrorists, enemy combatants, and prisoners of war are detained and interrogated. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] The Washington Post reports in May 2004: “The largely hidden array includes three systems that only rarely overlap: the Pentagon-run network of prisons, jails, and holding facilities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and elsewhere; small and secret CIA-run facilities where top al-Qaeda and other figures are kept; and interrogation rooms of foreign intelligence services—some with documented records of torture—to which the US government delivers or ‘renders’ mid- or low-level terrorism suspects for questioning.... The detainees have no conventional legal rights: no access to a lawyer; no chance for an impartial hearing; and ... no apparent guarantee of humane treatment accorded prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions or civilians in US jails.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] One administration official tells the New York Times that some high-level detainees may be held indefinitely. [New York Times, 5/13/2004 Sources: Unnamed administration official] Secrecy permeates the system. For example, renditions are done covertly and the locations of the secret CIA-run interrogation centers are considered “so sensitive that even the four leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees, who are briefed on all covert operations, do not know them.” [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] In May 2004, it is estimated that there are 10,000 prisoners being held in US facilities around the world. They come from a number of countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the Palestinian territories, and Yemen. [The New Zealand Herald, 5/13/2004]
          

October 5, 2001-April 2002

       An Australian named Mamdouh Habib is arrested in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities. Over the next three weeks he is interrogated by three Americans. He is then taken to an airfield, where American individuals beat him up, cut off his clothes and “posed while another took pictures” with a foot on his neck. He is first taken to Bagram and from there [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] flown to Egypt, where he spends the next six months in a six by eight foot cell, forced to sleep on the concrete floor with one blanket. [Washington Post, 1/6/2005] According to Habib, the Australian high commission in Pakistan authorizes his transfer to Egypt. [Amnesty International, 9/2004] During his stay in Egypt, Habib is repeatedly tortured, he alleges. [Washington Post, 1/6/2005] According to his Australian lawyer, Stephen Hopper, in Egypt, Habib is blindfolded for months on end and in addition “beaten up, electrocuted, injected with unknown drugs, tortured” and has dogs set upon him. [Amnesty International, 9/2004] During interrogations, he is repeatedly kicked, punched, and beaten with a stick, rammed with an electric cattle prod, and deprived of sleep by drenching him with cold water, according to a petition he will later file with a US District Court. Sometimes he is “suspended from hooks on the wall” with his feet on the side of a large metal rotating drum. When Habib fails to provide his interrogators with the answers they want, they throw a switch and “a jolt of electricity” goes through the drum, forcing Habib to “dance,” making the drum rotate. Thus, “his feet constantly [slip], leaving him suspended by only the hooks on the wall.” Another technique used on Habib is to place him in ankle-deep water “wired to an electric current.” According to the petition, his interrogators tell him that unless he confesses, they will “throw the switch and electrocute him.” Habib submits and, he says, gives false confessions. [Washington Post, 1/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Jamal Udeen
          

October 23, 2001

       Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed, a microbiology student from Yemen who is suspected of membership in al-Qaeda and involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole, is apprehended in Pakistan by the Pakistani intelligence agency at the request of the United States. [St. Petersburg Times, 10/28/2001; Associated Press, 10/28/2001; Amnesty International, 8/19/2003; The Washington Post, 3/11/2002] In the early hours of October 23, 2001, he is taken to a secluded part of Karachi International Airport. Shackled and blindfolded, the Pakistanis deliver him from there to US agents, according to the Washington Post, “without extradition or deportation papers.” [Washington Post, 3/11/2002] From there, at about 2:40 a.m., Mohammed is put on a US-registered jet and flown to Jordan. His fate is unknown from then on, . [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] The plane is a Gulfstream V with tail number N379P, owned by a company named Premier Executive Transport Services Inc. (PETS), of 339 Washington St., Dedham, Massachusetts. The company is apparently a CIA front organization. [Washington Post, 12/27/2004] Fredrik Laurin, a Swedish reporter, discovers that the chartered Gulfstream is leased almost exclusively to the US administration. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] Since its discovery, the Gulfstream has been spotted at Washington's Dulles International Airport, Guantanamo Bay, in the Middle East and Central Asia (Amman (the military airport), Baghdad, Baku, Cairo, Dubai, Islamabad, Karachi, Kuwait City, Rabat, Riyadh, and Tashkent), and in Europe (Frankfurt, Glasgow, Stockholm, Larnaca on Cyprus and other airports in England and Ireland). [Washington Post, 7/25/2004; Washington Post, 12/27/2004] The jet is further found to have a permit to land at US military bases around the world. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed
          

November 2001

       Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who holds joint German and Syrian citizenship, is arrested in Morocco, where he is reportedly interrogated by US agents. Zammar is suspected of having served as a recruiter for al-Qaeda. [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003; Washington Post, 12/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Haydar Zammar
          

November 5, 2001

       Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter writes: “We can't legalize physical torture; it's contrary to American values. But even as we continue to speak out against human rights abuses around the world, we need to keep an open mind about certain measures to fight terrorism, like court-sanctioned psychological interrogation. And we'll have to think about transferring some suspects to our less squeamish allies, even if that's hypocritical. Nobody said this was going to be pretty.” [Newsweek, 11/5/2001]
People and organizations involved: Jonathan Alter
          

Between December 9, 2001 and January 9, 2002

       The Central Intelligence Agency sends a request to Indonesia to arrest suspected 24-year old al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni and extradite him to Egypt. The CIA found his name in al-Qaeda documents obtained in Afghanistan. The agency believes that Iqbal, a Pakistani, worked with Richard C. Reid (see December 22, 2001), the Briton charged with attempting to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami on December 22 with explosives in his shoes. A few days later, the Egyptian government sends Jakarta a formal request to extradite Madni in connection with terrorism, providing Indonesian authorities with a convenient cover for complying with the CIA request. [Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Indonesian officials and foreign diplomats]
People and organizations involved: Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni
          

December 18, 2001

       In Stockholm, around 5 p.m., a group of Swedish and US agents seize Egyptian nationals Ahmed Agiza and Muhammed Al-Zery on the street without warning, and drive them immediately to the Stockholm airport. The two men applied for asylum in 2000 and are legal Swedish residents. A Swedish policeman stationed at the airport later reports that the handful of agents escorting the Egyptians are wearing hoods. [Washington Post, 7/25/2004] At the local airport police office, the clothes of the detainees are cut with scissors, and replaced with red overalls, and the men are tied with handcuffs and leg irons. They are then taken aboard a US-registered Gulfstream V jet, and by 9:47 p.m., they are in the air on their way to Cairo, where they allegedly will be tortured. “[I]t was pretty blatant,” a former intelligence official said. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] More than a month passes before Swedish officials visit Agiza and Zery to ensure that they are being treated properly. In a report made public shortly after the first visit, Swedish Ambassador to Egypt Sven Linder writes that the two prisoners said they had been treated “excellently” and that “they seemed well-nourished and showed no external signs of physical abuse or such things.” But in the section of the report marked classified, he writes that Agiza complained of having been subjected to “excessive brutality” at the hands of the Swedish security police, and that he was repeatedly beaten in Egyptian prisons. [Washington Post, 7/25/2004] Agiza's lawyers acknowledge that he has been a member of “Egyptian Islamic Jihad,” and was close at one time to al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri. According to his lawyers, however, Agiza has not had ties with Zawahiri since a decade ago, and denounces the use of violence by al-Qaeda. In 1999, while living in Iran, he was convicted in absentia by an Egyptian military court for being a member of an illegal organization. Zery's involvement with terrorism, on the other hand, is much less apparent. According to Swedish officials, he too was convicted in absentia in Egypt, though this is disputed by his lawyers and human rights groups. [Washington Post, 7/25/2004] However, “both were dirty,” a former senior intelligence official tells Seymour Hersh. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sven Linder, Muhammed Al-Zery, Ahmed Agiza
          

January 2002 and after

       Pakistan turns Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, a Libyan national, over to US authorities. Libi is believed to have run the Khaldan paramilitary camp in Afghanistan for al-Qaeda. Interrogations start and a debate soon erupts with regard to which methods can be employed. The CIA advocates threatening him with his life and that of his family. [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] The CIA's actions are, according to Newsweek, facilitated by a February 2002 secret presidential order “authorizing the CIA to establish secret detention facilities outside the US and to use extra harsh interrogation methods” (see After February 7, 2002). [Newsweek, 5/24/2004] Some time after his handover to the US, Al-Libi is rendered to Egypt. According to an ex-FBI official, the CIA “duct-taped his mouth, cinched him up and sent him to Cairo. At the airport the CIA case officer goes up to him and says, ‘You're going to Cairo, you know. Before you get there I'm going to find your mother and I'm going to f_ck her.’ ” [Newsweek, 6/21/2004] Al-Libi is said to provide the US with valuable intelligence including information about an alleged plot to blow up the US Embassy in Yemen with a truck bomb and the location of Abu Zubaida, who will be captured in March 2002 (see March 28, 2002). However, he will also provide false information (see February 14, 2004) that will end up in major speeches by both President Bush (see October 7, 2002) and Secretary of State Colin Powell (see 10:30 a.m. February 5, 2003). The FBI has thus far taken the lead in interrogations of terrorist suspects, because its agents are the ones with most experience. The CIA's success with Al-Libi contributes to the shift of interrogations from the bureau to the CIA. [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] Such methods as making death threats, advocated by the CIA, are opposed by the FBI, which is used to limiting its questioning techniques so the results from interrogations can be used in court. [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] “We don't believe in coercion,” a senior FBI official says. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi
          

January 9, 2002

       In Jakarta, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is detained by Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency at the insistence of the CIA (see Between December 9, 2001 and January 9, 2002). [Washington Post, 3/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni
          

January 11, 2002

       “[W]ithout a court hearing or lawyer,” Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni (see January 9, 2002) is pushed aboard an unmarked, US-registered Gulfstream V jet, parked at a military airport in Jakarta. According to the Washington Post, the plane flies straight to Cairo. [Christian Science Monitor, 7/26/2002; The Guardian, 3/12/2002; The Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Indonesian officials] The Tipton Three, however, believe he is first taken to the US base in Bagram, Afghanistan. [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] Indonesian government officials say publicly that Madni has been extradited because of visa violations: Madni failed to write down the name of a sponsor for his visit to Indonesia on his visa application form. A senior Indonesian government official says the extradition request from Egypt (see Between December 9, 2001 and January 9, 2002) and the discovery of Iqbal's visa infraction provided Indonesia with a convenient excuse to comply with the CIA's request, because it would have been unacceptable to Indonesia's population if its government were seen to be cooperating with the US. “This was a US deal all along,” an official says. “The CIA asked us to find this guy and hand him over. We did what they wanted.” He adds, “Egypt just provided the formalities.” In Cairo, Madni is reportedly also questioned by US agents. He remains in Egyptian custody until March 2004 (see March 2004). [Christian Science Monitor, 7/26/2002; The Guardian, 3/12/2002; The Washington Post, 3/11/2002 Sources: Unnamed Indonesian officials]
People and organizations involved: Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni
          

March 11, 2002

       The Washington Post reveals that the US government has secretly transported “dozens of people” suspected of links to terrorists to foreign countries with poor human rights records “where they can be subjected to interrogation tactics—including torture and threats to families—that are illegal in the United States.” The program is known as “rendition” (see 1993-2004) (see After September 11, 2001). [Washington Post, 3/11/2002]
          

March 11, 2002

       Human Rights Watch writes to President Bush about allegations of renditions and torture reported in the Washington Post (see March 11, 2002), asking that the allegations be investigated immediately. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 3/11/2002]
People and organizations involved: Human Rights Watch
          

March 13, 2002

       A memo titled “The President's Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captive Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations” summarizes the legal authority under which renditions and other forcible transfers may be conducted. Officials interviewed by the Washington Post say Gonzales was instrumental in the drafting of this memo. [Washington Post, 1/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Alberto R. Gonzales, Michael Scheuer
          

March 28, 2002

       In Faisalabad, Pakistan, a joint team of US and Pakistani Special Forces engage in a firefight with Abu Zubaida, a Palestinian believed to be an al-Qaeda logistics expert. Zubaida is shot, captured, briefly interrogated, and then handed over to US officials. He is then taken to Bagram base in Afghanistan. What happens after that is uncertain, but it is believed that he is flown to Jordan. More high-value prisoners like Zubaida are being held in prisons in Amman and in desert locations in the eastern part of Jordan. [The Observer, 6/13/2004] At all times, Zubaida remains under control of the CIA. The FBI, which until now has competed with the CIA over the lead role in interrogations of terrorist suspects, decides not to have a part in Zubaida's interrogation. A senior FBI counterterrorism official later says, “Once the CIA was given the green light ... they had the lead role.” [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] National Security Adviser for combating terrorism Army Gen. Wayne Downing is apparently intimately involved in the questioning of Zubaida. “The interrogations of Abu Zubaida drove me nuts at times,” he recalls. “He and some of the others are very clever guys. At times I felt we were in a classic counter-interrogation class: They were telling us what they think we already knew. Then, what they thought we wanted to know. As they did that, they fabricated and weaved in threads that went nowhere. But, even with these ploys, we still get valuable information and they are off the street, unable to plot and coordinate future attacks.” Since Zubaida is shot in the groin during his arrest in Pakistan, he requires painkillers. US officials will later suggest to the Washington Post that his painkillers “were used selectively.” One official explains, “in a deadpan voice,” that “pain control [in wounded patients] is a very subjective thing.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] As a result, he reportedly shares information leading to the arrest of other al-Qaeda members, [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Jose Padilla, [New York Times, 6/27/2004] Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Rahim al-Nashiri, Omar al-Faruq and Muhammad al-Darbi. [Washington Post, 6/27/2004] Downing, who resigns in June 2002, affirms, “We know so much more about them now than we did a year ago: the personalities, how the networks are established, what they think are important targets, how they think we will react.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: Abu Zubaida, Muhammad al-Darbi, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Jose Padilla, Wayne Downing, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Omar al-Faruq, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh
          

June 2002

       With help from the US, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a German and Syrian citizen suspected of being a top al-Qaeda member, is taken in secret to Syria. When the German government learns of the arrest and transfer, it strongly protests the move. After his arrival in Syria, according to a former fellow prisoner, Zammar is tortured in the Far' Falastin, or “Palestine Branch,” detention center in Damascus. [Human Rights Watch, 6/2004; Daily Telegraph, 6/20/2002; Washington Post, 12/26/2002] The center is run by military intelligence and reportedly is a place “where many prisoners remain held incommunicado.” [Washington Post, 1/31/2003] His Syrian interrogators are reportedly provided with questions from their US counterparts. [Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] This is alleged by Murhaf Jouejati, Adjunct Professor at George Washington University, who tells the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States that, “Although US officials have not been able to interrogate Zammar, Americans have submitted questions to the Syrians.” [9/11 Commission Report, 7/9/2003] In the “Palestine Branch” prison, Zammar is locked up in cell number thirteen. According to Amnesty International, the cell measures 185 cm long, 90 cm wide and less than two meters high. Zammar is said to be about six feet tall and now “skeletal” in appearance. [Amnesty International, 10/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Mohammed Haydar Zammar
          

October 8, 2002

       At 3 o'clock in the morning, Maher Arar is woken up in his cell in New York and taken to another room where he is stripped, searched, shackled, and chained. Two officials read him a decision by the director of the INS, saying that he will be deported to Syria and, as Arar recalls it, “that INS was not the body that deals with Geneva Convention regarding torture.” There is no such convention, but this is probably a reference to the Convention Against Torture (CAT). However, Article 3 of the CAT states: “No State Party shall expel ... a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” In addition, the US immigration law cited to justify Arar's deportation prohibits sending individuals to a country where “it is more likely than not that they will be tortured.” A Justice Department spokesman nevertheless maintains that “the removal of Mr. Arar was accomplished after interagency consultation and in full compliance with the law and with all relevant international treaties and conventions.” [Washington Post, 11/19/2003] On that early morning of October 8, Arar is put on a small jet. After a landing in Washington, a “special removal unit,” a term Arar overheard, boards the plane and [Washington Post, 11/12/2003] is at this point in custody of the CIA. [Washington Post, 5/11/2004] “They said Syria was refusing to take me directly,” Arar later recalls, “and I would have to fly to Jordan.” Torture is again his prime thought. “At that time I was thinking of what would happen once I arrived in Syria and how am I to avoid torture.” Via Portland, Maine, and Rome, the jet lands in Amman, Jordan, where six or seven Jordanians are waiting for him. Without a word being spoken Arar is handed over. Blindfolded and chained, he is put in a van, and “right away, ... they started beating me,” Arar recalls. Half an hour later inside a building, he is subjected to more questioning. [CBC, 11/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Maher Arar
          

October 10, 2002-October 20, 2002

       A day after his arrival at the “Palestinian Branch” prison (see October 9, 2002), Maher Arar's captors begin torturing him. “The beating started ... and was very intense for a week, and then less intense for another week. That second and the third days were the worst. I could hear other prisoners being tortured, and screaming and screaming. Interrogations are carried out in different rooms.” Only on this day, two days after his removal, is Canada officially informed of Arar's deportation from the US. [CBC, 11/26/2004] A few days later, Arar's wife, Monia Mazigh, relays her concerns about his fate. “I don't know even if he's dead, alive, tortured, punished, anything,” she says. [CBC, 10/16/2002] The next two days, his torturers use a two-inch thick black electrical cable to beat him all over his body, but mostly on his hands and wrists. They also threaten him with “the chair,” electric shocks and, while constrained inside a tire, with beatings on the sole of his feet. Another tactic is to scare him by putting him in a waiting room where he is forced to listen to the screams of other prisoners being tortured. On the third day, the interrogation round lasts about 18 hours. “They kept beating me so I had to falsely confess and told them I did go to Afghanistan. I was ready to confess to anything if it would stop the torture. They wanted me to say I went to a training camp. I was so scared I urinated on myself twice. The beating was less severe each of the following days. At the end of each day, they would always say, ‘Tomorrow will be harder for you.’ So each night, I could not sleep—I did not sleep for the first four days, and slept no more than two hours a day for about two months.” Interrogations and torture end around October 20, three days before Arar receives a visit from the Canadian consulate. With the colonel and three other Syrian officials present, Arar does not dare talk about his experiences. After the visit, he is required to sign a document, the contents of which are unknown to him, and on another document he is forced to write that he has been to Afghanistan. All in all, Arar receives seven consular visits and one from members of the Canadian parliament. He is never in the position, however, to tell his visitors about the torture and his gravelike cell. For six months he does not see any sunlight, except for during the interrogations and visits. He loses 40 pounds. “I had moments I wanted to kill myself. I was like a dead person.” [Washington Post, 11/12/2003]
People and organizations involved: Maher Arar
          

December 11, 2002

       CIA Director Tenet says in a speech, “The Saudis are [providing] increasingly important support to our counterterrorism efforts, from making arrests to sharing debriefing results.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] Several terrorist suspects have been sent to Saudi Arabia for interrogation as part of a special program, known as “rendition.” But US officials often “remain closely involved”with the questioning (see 1993-2004).
People and organizations involved: George Tenet
          

December 26, 2002

       In a front-page article, the Washington Post reports on the US intelligence program of rendition (see 1993-2004) and reveals that US agents are using “stress and duress” techniques to interrogate captives detained in Afghanistan. Persons being held in the CIA interrogation center at Bagram Air Base who refuse to cooperate “are sometimes kept standing or kneeling for hours in black hoods or spray-painted goggles, .... held in awkward, painful positions and deprived of sleep with a 24-hour bombardment of lights' subject to what are known as ‘stress and duress’ techniques,” the report says. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 12/26/2002] Each of the ten current national security officials who were interviewed for the article “defended the use of violence against captives as just and necessary.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] The report quotes one official who reasons: “If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job.... I don't think we want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this.” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 12/26/2002] Likewise, another official acknowledged that “our guys may kick them around a little bit in the adrenaline of the immediate aftermath.” A different source commented, with reference to the medical services provided for captives, that “pain control [in wounded patients] is a very subjective thing.” [Washington Post, 12/26/2002] Finally, in a very explicit remark, one of the officials interviewed by the Post, who is described as being directly involved in the rendition of captives, explained the program's logic: “We don't kick the [expletive] out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the [expletive] out of them.” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Washington Post, 12/26/2002] After the report is published, Maj. Stephen Clutter, the deputy spokesman at Bagram, denies the allegations, claiming that the Washington Post article was “false on several points, the first being that there is no CIA detention facility on Bagram.” He says, “The accusation of inhumane treatment is something that I can clearly refute. The things that they talked about, the inhumane conditions ... are things that do not go on here.” [Agence France Presse, 12/29/2002] “There is a facility run by the US Army, however, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that persons under control of the US Army have been mistreated,” he explains. “A doctor examines them daily. They have access to medical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have dental care. They sleep in a warm facility and have three meals a day that are prepared according to Islamic cultural and religious norms. When they arrive, they go through an interview process to determine whether they are enemy combatants or have information that can help us prevent terrorist attacks against Americans or attacks against US forces. During this interview process, they are treated as humanely as possible. We routinely allow visits, about once a week, from the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure their treatment is humane. If they are deemed to be enemy combatants or pose a danger, they become detainees. If they are not, they are ultimately released.” [Reuters, 12/28/2002]
People and organizations involved: Stephen Clutter
          

January 14, 2003

       Executive directors of leading human rights organizations write to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz urging that the Bush administration publicly denounce the use of torture in any form and pledge not to seek intelligence obtained through torture in a third country. The letters also ask the US to provide clear guidelines to US forces on the treatment of detainees. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Paul Wolfowitz
          

February 6, 2003

       Newsday reports that Vincent Cannistraro, a former intelligence official, told reporters, “Better intelligence has come from a senior al-Qaeda detainee who had been held in the US base at Guantanamo, Cuba, and was ‘rendered’ to Egypt after refusing to cooperate. ‘They promptly tore his fingernails out and he started to tell things.’ ” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Vincent Cannistraro
          

(March 3, 2003)

       An unnamed US law enforcement official tells the Wall Street Journal, “[B]ecause the [Convention Against Torture] has no enforcement mechanism, as a practical matter, ‘you're only limited by your imagination.’ ” A detainee “isn't going to be near a place where he has Miranda rights or the equivalent of them,” the official says. “God only knows what they're going to do to him. You go to some other country that'll let us pistol whip this guy.” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; The Wall Street Journal, 3/4/2003]
          

March 9, 2003

       A New York Times article reports that the US government is rendering suspects abroad (see 1993-2004) and that “stress and duress” techniques are being used at the secret CIA interrogation center located in a hangar at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (see (October 2001-2004)). “Intelligence officials ... acknowledged that some suspects had been turned over to security services in countries known to employ torture. There have been isolated, if persistent, reports of beatings in some American-operated centers,” the report explains. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; The New York Times, 3/9/2003]
          

(April 2003)

       The Justice Department advises in a set of legal memorandums that if “government officials ... are contemplating procedures that may put them in violation of American statutes that prohibit torture, degrading treatment or the Geneva Conventions, they will not be responsible if it can be argued that the detainees are formally in the custody of another country.” That is because, according to one official, “It would be the responsibility of the other country.” The memos seem to suggest that top government officials may be concerned that they are in violation of international laws. One administration figure involved in discussions about the memos tells the New York Times in May 2004: “The criminal statutes only apply to American officials. The question is how involved are the American officials.” [New York Times, 5/13/2004]
          

June 24, 2003

       The June 24 deadline, set by the Malawi High Court (see June 22, 2003), to release five foreigners from detention or bring them to court, expires without the court's order being honored. Instead, the five men are secretly flown out of the country reportedly in the custody of US agents and aboard a US chartered airplane. Their destination is at first unknown, even apparently to the Malawi government. A Malawi official tells Amnesty International on June 26: “From the time the arrests were made, the welfare of the detainees, their abode and itinerary for departure were no longer in the hands of the Malawian authorities. Thus as a country we did not have the means to stop or delay the operation. The issue of terrorism has regrettably spurred worldwide erosion of fundamental principles of human rights not only in the world but also in the USA itself .... Malawi has had to cooperate with the USA on this request as we are under obligations internationally to assist. In Malawi we do not know where these people are but they are in hands of the Americans who took them out of the country using a chartered aircraft. They should now be going through investigations at a location only known by the USA.” It is later found that the five were flown to Zimbabwe, where they were held for a month, and then Sudan, where they were subsequently released. [Amnesty International, AI Index AMR 51/114/2003, 8/19/2003]
People and organizations involved: Khalifa Abdi, Mahmud Sardar Issa, Arif Ulusam, Ibrahim Habaci, Faha al Bahli
          

June 26, 2003

       An official of the Malawian government writes to Amnesty International about the transfer of five men in US custody (see June 24, 2003), explaining: “From the time the arrests were made, the welfare of the detainees, their abode and itinerary for departure were no longer in the hands of the Malawian authorities. Thus as a country we did not have the means to stop or delay the operation. The issue of terrorism has regrettably spurred worldwide erosion of fundamental principles of human rights not only in the world but also in the USA itself.... Malawi has had to cooperate with the USA on this request as we are under obligations internationally to assist. In Malawi we do not know where these people are but they are in hands of the Americans who took them out of the country using a chartered aircraft. They should now be going through investigations at a location only known by the USA.” It is later learned that the five men were sent to Zimbabwe and then to Sudan, where they were finally released in late July 2003 after investigators could find no evidence linking the men to terrorism. [Amnesty International, 8/19/03]
          

July 13, 2003

       Al-Qaeda suspect Adil Al-Jazeeri is transferred over to US authorities from Pakistan after being subjected to “tough questioning” by Pakistani agents. The Americans then fly Al-Jazeeri “blindfolded and bound to an unknown location for interrogation in US custody.” [Amnesty International, 8/19/03; CBS News, 7/14/2003]
People and organizations involved: Adil Al-Jazeeri
          

April 2004

       Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant fighting against Coalition Forces, says that prisons in Jordan have become “the Arab Guantanamo.” He says: “Whoever the Americans find hard to investigate in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they move to Jordan, where they are tortured in every way.” [The Observer, 6/13/2004] Jordon is a country that is notorious for its use of torture (see 1993-2004).
People and organizations involved: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
          

May 5-July 7, 2004

       The overseas flights of the Gulfstream V jet, apparently owned by a CIA front organization and used to transfer prisoners to countries for detention and interrogations, are stalled. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004]
          

June 23, 2004

       The Guardian of London, during the course of an in-depth investigation of the Bagram air base in Afghanistan, learns that while some of the base's prisoners are being transferred to Guantanamo, others are being purposely kept off the books, a practice that a human rights organization has coined, “RPing,” or “Rumsfeld Processing.” These detainees are sometimes rendered to the intelligence services of Egypt or other foreign governments for interrogation. [The Guardian, 6/23/2004]
          

October 13, 2004

       The Israeli Ha'aretz reports that at least 11 men are being held in incommunicado in a Jordanian detention center on behalf of the US. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Nurjaman Riduan Isamuddin (also known as “Hambali”) are presumed to be one of those detained. [Reuters, 10/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Peter Hoekstra, Siddig Siddig Ali, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          


Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use