Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Body Snatchers: CIA Seized Egyptian Terror Suspect in Europe in 1995 in Early Rendition Case

International World Herald
October 21, 2007

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP): CIA renditions in Europe date back as far as the mid-1990s, with U.S. agents allegedly seizing an Egyptian terror suspect in Croatia in 1995 and sending him to Egypt, a Danish newspaper reported Sunday.

The man, known as Abu Talal, was a high-ranking member of the Egyptian terrorist organization al-Gama'a al-Islamiya who had political asylum in Denmark, according to the Danish daily Politiken.

U.S. agents seized Abu Talal in Croatia in September 1995 and then handed him over to Egypt, where he probably was executed, the report said.

Former CIA official Michael Scheuer told the newspaper that the suspect had been deemed "a dangerous terrorist."

Egypt had previously pushed for Denmark to extradite Abu Talal but the Nordic nation refused because he would have faced the death penalty in Egypt.

Scheuer and other former CIA officials told the newspaper that the Danish Security Intelligence Service would have been aware of the action.

But Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told Politiken that he received no information about any illegal CIA activity "on Danish territory."

Danish Security Intelligence Service and Foreign Ministry officials weren't available for comment Sunday.

European governments have been accused of allowing U.S. intelligence agents to transport terror suspects through Europe in secret, illegal renditions, sometimes to countries where they face torture.

Sweden, which let U.S. agents handle the extradition of two Egyptian terror suspects in 2001, was criticized for allowing the suspects be sent back to Egypt, where they were imprisoned on terrorism charges.

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