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UK spooks forced to hand Gitmo files to suspect's lawyers

Dirty bombs, dirty hands for MI5

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After that, Mohamed says he was beaten several times by Pakistani agents and threatened with a gun. Before the British agent - B - arrived, Mohamed says all torture ceased. (The High Court beaks noted that throughout the year after 9/11, various British officers from both MI5/SyS and the Secret Intelligence Service SIS had expressed concerns regarding American treatment of prisoners, and had often sought assurances from their allies on such matters.)

Mohamed confirms there was no torture during the interview with B: however, his account of it differs from that given in B's report. He says an American officer was present, and that explicit threats of torture in a different country were made. According to Mohamed's account as provided by his lawyers to the high court:

They gave me a cup of tea with a lot of sugar in it. I initially only took one. 'No, you need a lot more. Where you are going you need a lot of sugar'. I didn't know exactly what he meant by this, but I figured he meant some poor country in Arabia. One of them did tell me I was going to get tortured by the Arabs.

Mohamed says he nonetheless refused to say anything until he was given access to a lawyer. The British agent, B, strongly denied to the high court that any such threats were made either by him or in his presence. This was after initially refusing to testify on the grounds that he might incriminate himself.

Two months later, in July 2002, Mohamed says that he was taken to Morocco by CIA jet, where his troubles really began. He says he was tortured repeatedly in Morocco, sometimes by people who wore masks - the suggestion being that these may have been Americans rather than Moroccans. Some of those who questioned him he considered to be CIA operatives - in particular a woman who told him she was Canadian. In particular, "he contends that apart from being severely beaten and subjected to sleep deprivation, his penis and private parts were cut with a scalpel".

Mohamed says that after 18 months of torture in Morocco, he was taken back to Afghanistan, to a facility near Kabul he calls "The Prison of Darkness", in January 2004. Here he was "deprived of sleep, blasted with sound, starved and then beaten and hung up", and threatened with a return to Morocco or some similar place unless he confessed to the dirty-bomb plot. He says he would have said anything his captors told him to by this point.

In May 2004, Mohammed entered US military custody at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Here he signed various confessions, including admissions that he had planned a dirty-bomb outrage on US soil. After four months at Bagram he was moved to Guantánamo, where he signed more confessions.

During the two years Mohamed spent in limbo, the British spooks repeatedly asked for access to him in order to find out what he might know about terrorists and plots in the UK. It was also during this period that they became aware of the CIA black-prisons system and the use of third countries for interrogations, and it gradually became apparent to them that Mohamed must be in such a facility. The Brits also began to get more and more panicked about the cleanliness of their own hands, and their own potential liabilities - especially with respect to prisoners who had held British residency status or citizenship.

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