Thursday, September 29, 2011

Libyan Rebel Leader Says He Was Victim of CIA Torture in Bangkok's Don Muang Airport 2004

I don't have a lot of time for this, but did want to at least link to this piece which comes from documents found in Gadaffi's stash which adds information to what we know about the CIA torture activities in Thailand.  It comes from journalist Richard S. Ehrlich.  It's at what appears to be a New Zealand website Scoop:

Mr. Belhaj -- known by his nom de guerre, Abdullah al-Sadiq -- was named in at least two of the tens of thousands of documents recently discovered in Mr. Gadhafi's External Security buildings, in the Libyan capital, after rebels took over Tripoli.

As the article itself says at the bottom, a CIA interrogation site had been mentioned in the past.
Testimony by U.S. officials and other investigations earlier confirmed the CIA secretly waterboarded other suspects in Thailand in 2002, two years before Mr. Belhaj's ordeal in Bangkok.
At that time, the CIA secretly waterboarded suspected al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaydah, and USS Cole bombing plotter Abd al-Nashiri in Thailand, but the location has not been made public.
In 2005, the CIA's former head Porter Gross, and his top aide, reportedly agreed to destroy videotapes kept in Bangkok documenting harsh interrogation, according to internal CIA e-mails.

He apparently was fingered by Gadaffi and caught and tortured at Don Muang - Bangkok's main airport until a few years ago.
London's Guardian newspaper reported on Sept. 5, however, that Britain's M16 intelligence agency helped the CIA in March 2004 arrest Mr. Belhaj, who is now a powerful commander in Tripoli for the anti-Moammar Gadhafi transitional government.
"Belhaj was detained by the CIA in Thailand in 2004 following an MI6 tip-off, allegedly tortured, then flown to Tripoli, where he says he suffered years of abuse in one of Muammar Gaddafi's prisons," the Guardian reported.
"MI6 had been able to tell the CIA of his whereabouts, after his associates informed British diplomats in Malaysia that he wished to claim asylum in the UK.
"Belhaj was then allowed to board a flight for London and abducted when the plane called at Bangkok," the Guardian reported.
In 2004, all international flights in and out of Bangkok -- including Mr. Belhaj's supposed British Airways flight -- used only Don Muang International Airport.
In Malaysia, he had bought "a ticket to London via Bangkok," the paper said.
"I got on the plane," Mr. Belhaj said, believing the flight would stopover for refueling in Bangkok and that he would be welcomed in London and given political asylum.
"Belhaj was captured by CIA officers, in co-operation with Thai authorities, inside Bangkok airport.
"He says he was tortured at a site in the airport grounds," the Guardian said.
"I was injected with something, hung from a wall by my arms and legs and put in a container surrounded by ice," he told the Guardian on Sept. 5, describing his alleged treatment at Bangkok's international airport by two people he described as CIA agents.
"They did not let me sleep, and there was noise all the time. And then they sent me to my enemy," Mr. Belhaj said, referring to his secret rendition flight by the CIA from Thailand to Libya.
 The whole piece is at Scoop.

Here's what it says about the author:
Richard S Ehrlich is a Bangkok-based journalist who has reported news from Asia since 1978. He is co-author of "Hello My Big Big Honey!", a non-fiction book of investigative journalism. His web page is

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