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Pedro Gonçalves

Mossad 'posed as CIA to recruit fighters' - Middle East - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

  • Agents with Israel's spy agency, Mossad, have posed as CIA agents in operations to recruit members of the Pakistani group Jundallah, according to a report in US-based Foreign Policy magazine.

    Using US dollars and passports, the agents passed themselves off as members of the US Central Intelligence Agency in the operations, according to memos from 2007 and 2008, said the report which was published on Friday.

    It is unclear whether the recruitment programme is ongoing.

  • "Israel has done this before. I know of a report very widely accepted in the US of Israeli Mossad agents in the United States, actually recruiting American Muslims," Mark Perry, who authored the report, told Al Jazeera.
  • Jundallah [which translates to "soldiers of God"] says it is fighting for the interests of Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province's large ethnic Baluch community, whose members, unlike most Iranians, mainly follow the Sunni branch of Islam.

    The Baluch straddle the border with neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan and Jundallah fighters have taken advantage of the unrest in the region to find safe haven in the border area.

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  • According to the US government, the group is responsible for targeting Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children, Foreign Policy said.

    In July it claimed responsibility for attacking the Grand Mosque in Sistan-Baluchistan capital of Zahedan, reportedly targeting members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, killing 28 people.

  • Tensions in the US-Iran relationship have also spiked, most recently following the car-bombing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

    Foreign Policy, however, said there was no evidence of a link between the scientist's killing and Jundallah.

Pedro Gonçalves

Iran says it has evidence U.S. behind scientist's killing | Reuters - 0 views

  • "We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA," the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, state TV reported.

    "The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents."

  • State TV said a "letter of condemnation" had also been sent to the British government, saying the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists had "started exactly after the British official John Sawers declared the beginning of intelligence operations against Iran."
  • In 2010, chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service Sawers said one of the agency's roles was to investigate efforts by states to build nuclear weapons in violation of their international legal obligations and identify ways to slow down their access to vital materials and technology.
Pedro Gonçalves

Poland admits role in CIA rendition programme | World news | - 0 views

  • The Polish authorities have for the first time admitted their involvement in the CIA's secret programme for the rendition of high-level terrorist suspects from Iraq and Afghanistan, it emerged today.
  • The Polish authorities have for the first time admitted their involvement in the CIA's secret programme for the rendition of high-level terrorist suspects from Iraq and Afghanistan, it emerged today.

    After years of stonewalling, Warsaw's air control service confirmed that at least six CIA flights had landed at a disused military air base in northern Poland in 2003.

Pedro Gonçalves

CIA doctors face human experimentation claims | World news | - 0 views

  • Doctors and psychologists the CIA employed to monitor its "enhanced interrogation" of terror suspects came close to, and may even have committed, unlawful human experimentation, a medical ethics watchdog has alleged.
  • The most incendiary accusation of PHR's latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA's interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data gathering was "a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation".
  • In April, a leaked report from the International Committee of the Red Cross found that medical staff employed by the CIA had been present during waterboarding, and had even used what appeared to be a pulse oxymeter, placed on the prisoner's finger to monitor his oxygen saturation during the procedure
Pedro Gonçalves

CIA Had Secret Al Qaeda Plan - - 0 views

  • A secret Central Intelligence Agency initiative terminated by Director Leon Panetta was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives, according to former intelligence officials familiar with the matter.
  • According to current and former government officials, the agency spent money on planning and possibly some training. It was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts. The initiative hadn't become fully operational at the time Mr. Panetta ended it.
  • In 2001, the CIA also examined the subject of targeted assassinations of al Qaeda leaders, according to three former intelligence officials. It appears that those discussions tapered off within six months. It isn't clear whether they were an early part of the CIA initiative that Mr. Panetta stopped.
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  • Amid the high alert following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a small CIA unit examined the potential for targeted assassinations of al Qaeda operatives, according to the three former officials. The Ford administration had banned assassinations in the response to investigations into intelligence abuses in the 1970s. Some officials who advocated the approach were seeking to build teams of CIA and military Special Forces commandos to emulate what the Israelis did after the Munich Olympics terrorist attacks, said another former intelligence official.
  • "It was straight out of the movies," one of the former intelligence officials said. "It was like: Let's kill them all."
  • Also in September 2001, as CIA operatives were preparing for an offensive in Afghanistan, officials drafted cables that would have authorized assassinations of specified targets on the spot.
  • One draft cable, later scrapped, authorized officers on the ground to "kill on sight" certain al Qaeda targets, according to one person who saw it. The context of the memo suggested it was designed for the most senior leaders in al Qaeda, this person said.

    Eventually Mr. Bush issued the finding that authorized the capturing of several top al Qaeda leaders, and allowed officers to kill the targets if capturing proved too dangerous or risky.

  • Lawmakers first learned specifics of the CIA initiative the day after Mr. Panetta did, when he briefed them on it for 45 minutes
  • On Sunday, lawmakers criticized the Bush administration's decision not to tell Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, hinted that the Bush administration may have broken the law by not telling Congress.
  • Ms. Feinstein said Mr. Panetta told the lawmakers that Mr. Cheney had ordered that the information be withheld from Congress. Mr. Cheney on Sunday couldn't be reached for comment through former White House aides.
Pedro Gonçalves

Iranian envoy: CIA involved in Neda's shooting? - - 0 views

  • The United States may have been behind the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, the 26-year-old Iranian woman whose fatal videotaped shooting Saturday made her a symbol of opposition to the June 12 presidential election results, the country's ambassador to Mexico said Thursday.
  • "This death of Neda is very suspicious," Ambassador Mohammad Hassan Ghadiri said. "My question is, how is it that this Miss Neda is shot from behind, got shot in front of several cameras, and is shot in an area where no significant demonstration was behind held?"

    He suggested that the CIA or another intelligence service may have been responsible.

    "Well, if the CIA wants to kill some people and attribute that to the government elements, then choosing women is an appropriate choice, because the death of a woman draws more sympathy," Ghadiri said.

  • Though the video appeared to show that she had been shot in the chest, Ghadiri said that the bullet was found in her head and that it was not of a type used in Iran.

    "These are the methods that terrorists, the CIA and spy agencies employ," he said. "Naturally, they would like to see blood spilled in these demonstrations, so that they can use it against the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is of the common methods that the CIA employs in various countries."

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  • But, he added, "I am not saying that now the CIA has done this. There are different groups. It could be the [work of another] intelligence service; it could be the CIA; it could be the terrorists. Anyway, there are people who employ these types of methods."
Pedro Gonçalves

Iran minister says CIA funding rioters: report | Special Coverage | Reuters - 0 views

  • Iran's interior minister on Wednesday accused U.S. spy agency the CIA of helping to fund "rioters," stepping up accusations of Western involvement in street unrest following the country's disputed election.

    "Britain, America and the Zionist regime (Israel) were behind the recent unrest in Tehran," Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars News Agency.

    "Many of the rioters were in contact with America, CIA and the MKO and are being fed by their financial resources," he said. The MKO (Mujahideen Khalq Organization) is an exiled Iranian opposition group.

Pedro Gonçalves

BBC NEWS | Americas | Bin Laden 'is still in Pakistan' - 0 views

  • Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden is still hiding in Pakistan, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Leon Panetta has said.
Pedro Gonçalves

BBC NEWS | Americas | US intelligence nominee withdraws - 0 views

  • US President Barack Obama's choice for a top intelligence job has withdrawn after questions about his experience of CIA interrogation techniques.

    Phillip Mudd worked for the CIA under former President George W Bush.

  • Earlier this year President Obama nominated him to be Under Secretary of Intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security.
Argos Media

Pelosi and CIA Clash Over Contents of Key Briefing - - 0 views

  • he top congressional Democrat on Thursday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of deceiving her about the use of harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists.
  • The accusation pits House Speaker Nancy Pelosi against the CIA in a war of words over whether she was specifically told in September 2002 that waterboarding was being used on detainees. Republicans accuse her of being hypocritical for criticizing Bush-era interrogation techniques, and say she should have spoken out against them when she was first briefed if she opposed their use.
  • At a contentious news conference Thursday, Mrs. Pelosi said that during the 2002 briefing, "we were told that waterboarding was not being used." Mrs. Pelosi acknowledged that as the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, she was briefed on Sept. 4, 2002, about waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning that critics, including President Barack Obama, call torture. But she said CIA officials told her and other lawmakers only that the Justice Department had concluded the procedure was legal.
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  • A CIA report released last week said that at the briefing, officials described the use of interrogation techniques on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah, who had been waterboarded 83 times the month before.
  • "It is not the policy of this Agency to mislead the United States Congress," CIA spokesman George Little said. CIA officials on Thursday stood by their description of the briefing. CIA Director Leon Panetta has said it would be up to Congress to determine whether notes made by agency personnel at the time they briefed lawmakers were accurate.
  • When Mrs. Pelosi's successor on the committee, Rep. Jane Harman (D., Calif.), learned in a February 2003 briefing that waterboarding was being used, she wrote a letter to the administration objecting. But Democrats said it had no effect.
  • while some prominent Democrats, including Mrs. Pelosi and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, favor a "truth commission" to investigate the Bush-era harsh interrogations, Mr. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) do not.
  • Ms. Pelosi's fellow Democrats took the unusual step of lashing out at the CIA. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D., Texas) said the CIA briefing Ms. Pelosi received was "inaccurate and incomplete" because she wasn't told that waterboarding was already being employed.
  • At the same time, the CIA has denied a request by former Vice President Dick Cheney to declassify documents that he said would show the harsh interrogations were effective. The agency isn't permitted to declassify documents that are the subject of pending lawsuits, it said.
  • Human-rights groups have brought a lawsuit demanding release of the documents. Those groups said Thursday that their lawsuit shouldn't stand in the way of making the information public.
Argos Media

Bush Officials Try to Alter Ethics Report - - 0 views

  • Former Bush administration officials have launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to urge Justice Department leaders to soften an ethics report criticizing lawyers who blessed harsh detainee interrogation tactics, according to two sources familiar with the efforts.
  • Representatives for John C. Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, subjects of the ethics probe, have encouraged former Justice Department and White House officials to contact new officials at the department to point out the troubling precedent of imposing sanctions on legal advisers, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.
  • A draft report of more than 200 pages, prepared in January before Bush's departure, recommends disciplinary action, rather than criminal prosecution, by state bar associations against Yoo and Bybee, former attorneys in the department's Office of Legal Counsel, for their work in preparing and signing the interrogation memos. State bar associations have the power to suspend a lawyer's license to practice or impose other penalties.
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  • Bybee, now a federal appeals court judge, and Yoo, now a law professor in California
  • The legal analysis on interrogation prepared by a third former chief of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven G. Bradbury, also was a subject of the ethics probe. But in an early draft, investigators did not make disciplinary recommendations about Bradbury.
  • Among other things, the draft report cited passages from a 2004 CIA inspector general's investigation and cast doubt on the effectiveness of the questioning techniques, which sources characterized as far afield from the narrow legal questions surrounding the lawyers' activities.
Argos Media

Europe's 'Special Interrogations': New Evidence of Torture Prison in Poland - SPIEGEL O... - 0 views

  • For more than a year now, Warsaw public prosecutor Robert Majewski has been investigating former Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller's government on allegations of abuse of office. At issue is whether sovereignty over Polish territory was relinquished, and whether former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and his left-leaning Social Democratic government gave the CIA free reign over sections of the Stare Kiejkuty military base for the agency's extraterritorial torture interrogations.
  • "No European country is so sincerely and vigorously investigating former members of the government as is currently the case in Poland," says Wolfgang Kaleck from the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, which supports the investigations.
  • The public prosecutor's office has also launched a probe to determine whether the Polish intelligence agency made 20 of its agents available to the CIA, as was recently reported by the conservative Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita. A former CIA official confirmed this information to SPIEGEL. There was reportedly a document issued by the intelligence agency that mentioned both the 20 Polish agents and the transfer of the military base to the Americans. Two members of a parliamentary investigative committee in Warsaw had an opportunity to view this document in late 2005, but it has since disappeared.
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  • Similar conclusions were reached by the second investigative report on CIA kidnappings in Europe, which was submitted two years ago by the special investigator of the Council of Europe, Dick Marty
  • Journalist Mariusz Kowalewski at Rzeczpospolita and two colleagues have been searching for months now for proof of the existence of a secret CIA base in Poland. The journalists have discovered flight record books from Szymany that had been declared lost, and based on refueling receipts and currency exchange rates, they have reconstructed flights and routes, and spoken with informants. Over the past few weeks, their newspaper and the television network TVP Info have revealed new details on an almost daily basis.
  • There are rumors circulating that one of the most important interrogators of Sheikh Mohammed, an American named Deuce Martinez -- the man who didn't torture him, but rather had the task of gently coaxing information out of him -- was in Poland at the time. That is the proof that's still missing.
  • According to Marty's report, members of the former Polish military intelligence and counterintelligence agency, WSI, were given positions with the border police, customs and airport administration to safeguard the activities of the CIA. "The latest revelations in Poland fully corroborate my evidence, which is based on testimony by insiders and documents that have been leaked to me," says the investigator today. Now, under the "dynamic force of the truth" that Obama has unleashed, Marty says that Europeans must finally reveal "which governments tolerated and supported the illegal practices of the CIA."
  • "The order to give the CIA everything they needed came from the very top, from the president," a member of the Polish military intelligence agency told the Marty team in 2007. Kwasniewski denies this. He says that there was close intelligence corporation with the US, but no prisons on Polish soil.
  • It's very possible that the debate on torture and responsibility which is currently being conducted in the US will soon also reach Europe. After all, Germany granted the US flyover rights and dropped its bid to extradite 13 CIA operatives in the case of Khalid el-Masri, a German citizen who claims he was abducted by the Americans. The Italian intelligence agency allegedly assisted the CIA with the kidnapping in Milan of the Islamic cleric Abu Omar. Britain's intelligence agency, MI6, reportedly delivered information directly to CIA agents who were conducting interrogations in Morocco. And there are also reports of a secret prison in Romania.
Argos Media

Europe's 'Special Interrogations': New Evidence of Torture Prison in Poland - SPIEGEL O... - 0 views

  • The current debate in the US on the "special interrogation methods" sanctioned by the Bush administration could soon reach Europe. It has long been clear that the CIA used the Szymany military airbase in Poland for extraordinary renditions. Now there is evidence of a secret prison nearby.
  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, also known as "the brains" behind al-Qaida. This was the man who had presented Osama bin Laden with plans to attack the US with commercial jets. He personally selected the pilots and supervised preparations for the attacks. Eighteen months later, on March 1, 2003, Sheikh Mohammed was captured in Rawalpindi, Pakistan by US Special Forces and brought to Afghanistan two days later. Now the CIA was flying him to a remote area in Poland's Masuria region. The prisoner slept during the flight from Kabul to Szymany, for the first time in days, as he later recounted:
  • A large number of Polish and American intelligence operatives have since gone on record that the CIA maintained a prison in northeastern Poland. Independent of these sources, Polish government officials from the Justice and Defense Ministry have also reported that the Americans had a secret base near Szymany airport. And so began on March 7, 2003 one of the darkest chapters of recent American -- and European -- history.
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  • It was apparently here, just under an hour's drive from Szymany airport, that Sheikh Mohammed was tortured, exactly 183 times with waterboarding -- an interrogation technique that simulates the sensation of drowning -- in March, 2003 alone. That averages out to eight times a day. And all of this happened right here in Europe.

  • What the CIA did back then to prisoners in the Polish military airbase of Stare Kiejkuty, north of Szymany, had been authorized by the president. According to witnesses, Stare Kiejkuty housed a secret CIA prison for "high value detainees" -- for the most prominent prisoners of the war on terror.
  • There is now no doubt that the Gulfstream N379P landed at least five times at Szymany between February and July, 2003. Flight routes were manipulated and falsified for this purpose and, with the knowledge of the Polish government, the European aviation safety agency Eurocontrol was deliberately deceived.
  • Stare Kiejkuty military base, known as a training camp for Polish intelligence agents.
  • Sheikh Mohammed said that they cut the clothes from his body, photographed him naked and threw him in a three-by-four-meter (10 x 13 ft) cell with wooden walls. That was when the hardest phase of the interrogating began, he claims. According to Sheikh Mohammed, one of his interrogators told him that they had received the green light from Washington to give him a "hard time":
  • "They never used the word 'torture' and never referred to 'physical pressure,' only to 'a hard time.' I was never threatened with death, in fact I was told that they would not allow me to die, but that I would be brought to the 'verge of death and back again.'"
  • He says he was questioned roughly eight hours a day. He spent the first month naked and standing, with his hands chained to the ceiling of the cell, even at night.
  • the al-Qaida operative described how he was strapped to a special bed and submitted to waterboarding:

    "Cold water from a bottle that had been kept in a fridge was then poured onto the cloth by one of the guards so that I could not breathe. This obviously could only be done for one or two minutes at a time. The cloth was then removed and the bed was put into a vertical position. The whole process was then repeated during about one hour. Injuries to my ankles and wrists also occurred during the waterboarding as I struggled in the panic of not being able to breathe."

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