CAIRO: Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi was tortured in CIA custody in 2003 and forced to confess what would be used as evidence in the lead-up to the U.S. war in Iraq, then transferred to Guantanamo Bay prison and moved again in 2004 from Guantanamo to CIA custody in an unnamed country, the recent Senate report confirmed.
“A Libyan national, Ibn Shaykh al-Libi reported while in [redacted] custody that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda and providing assistance with chemical and biological weapons,” the Senate Committee chairperson wrote in the 500-page summary.
Although there are at least nine Egyptians detained in Guantanamo, a U.S. military facility, the Senate summary discusses only the treatment of those who were ultimately taken into CIA custody.
In his 2007 book The Guantanamo Files, British investigative journalist Andy Worthington wrote that Libi was rendered in 2003 to Egypt where he was tortured to make “a false confession that two al-Qaeda operatives had been receiving information from Saddam Hussein about the use of chemical and biological weapons, which was subsequently used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.” The book also said Libi was renditioned to Mauritania as well as Jordan for interrogation.
Human Rights Watch and WikiLeaks reported that after his 2001 capture in Afghanistan Libi was detained in Egypt where “enhanced interrogation techniques” were used on him in a CIA detention facility, and that he eventually committed suicide in Libya’s Abu Salim Prison in 2009.
The CIA encourages foreign governments to host detention facilities in exchange for millions of dollars in cash, revealed the public summary of the full 6,000-page report. Over six million documents were probed leading to the report, the purview of which includes only CIA facilities.
The Senate report redacts the names of host countries where torture took place. The Open Society foundation issued in 2013 a report titled “Globalizing Torture” which states that in 1995, the CIA offered Egypt to be a partner in the rendition program, which was accepted by Cairo.
In 2009, a former Pakistani Guantanamo detainee detailed his torture in Egypt after the CIA sent him to Cairo. Muhammad Saad Iqbal was arrested in Jakarta in 2002 over supporting an Islamic group, but he was transported days after being arrested to Egypt where he were beaten, shackled, received electroshocks and was sleep-deprived for six months, the New York Times reported in 2009. Iqbal, who was released in 2008, confessed under torture that he had met with Osama bin Laden.
Human Rights Watch reported in 2006 that Egypt tortured Guantanamo detainees Mohammed al-Zari and Ahmed Agiza who sought asylum in Sweden.
Abu Omar, an Italian resident, was also sent to Egypt where he claims he was tortured. The Italian government convicted, in 2009, 22 CIA agents in absentia over his detention and torture, the Open Society Foundation reported in 2013.
Former detainee Mamdouh Habib, the Egyptian Australian citizen, said he plans to reopen his legal case against Egypt where he claims was taken and tortured before being sent to Guantanamo in 2001 and he then released in 2005, Australian newspaper Sunday Morning Herald reported Wednesday.
Egypt’s security measures were intensified in the vicinity of foreign embassies; especially after UK and Canada embassies closed few days ago, and some experts warned of a possible backlash against Americans or Westerners
The Director of General Administration of Cairo Investigation Mahmoud Farouk told al-Shorouq newspaper Tuesday that security forces would use live bullets against any armed person who approaches any foreign embassy.