Confession That Formed Base of Iraq War was Acquired Under
By Agence France Presse
10/27/006 "AFP" -- -- An Al-Qaeda terror suspect captured by the
United States, who gave evidence of links between Iraq and the
terror network, confessed after being tortured, a journalist
told the BBC.
Iban al Shakh al Libby told intelligence agents that he was
close to Al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri
and "understood an awful lot about the inner workings of
Al-Qaeda," former FBI agent Jack Clonan told the broadcaster.
Libby was tortured in an Egyptian prison, according to Stephen
Grey, the author of the newly-released book "Ghost Plane" who
investigated the secret US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
prisons that housed terror suspects around the world.
US President George W. Bush confirmed the existence of the
network of CIA holding facilities overseas during a September 6
speech defending controversial US interrogation practices.
Libby was apparently taken to Cairo, Clonan told the
broadcaster, after being captured in Afghanistan in the
aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United
"He (Libby) claims he was tortured in jail and that would be
routine in Egyptian prisons," Grey said.
"What he claimed most significantly was a connection between ...
Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. This
intelligence report made it all the way to the top, and was used
by (former US secretary of state) Colin Powell as a key piece of
justification ... for invading Iraq," he told the broadcaster.
Powell claimed in a UN Security Council meeting in February
2003, weeks before a US-led coalition invaded Iraq, that the
country under Saddam Hussein had provided weapons training to
Al-Qaeda, saying he could "trace the story of a senior terrorist
operative", whom Grey alleges is Libby.
"At the time, the caveats to say this intelligence was extracted
under torture were not provided," Grey said.
Grey said that, after being held in Egypt, Libby was transferred
to a secret CIA facility in Bagram, just north of Afghanistan's
capital Kabul. The journalist said he had also met other people
held in that facility who describe the torture that Libby faced
at the CIA facility.
Since then, "he disappeared", Grey said.
"Like hundreds of other people arrested after September 11, he's
vanished into a sort of netherworld of prisons where
astonishingly, President Bush now says the prisons have emptied.
© Copyright 2006 AFP
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