Washington: The CIA had falsely claimed to have thwarted eight terror plots, including three relating to Britain, because of intelligence gained from its enhanced interrogation programme, a Senate reports said.
Dhiren Barot, aka Issa al-Hindi, an al-Qaeda operative who planned to kill thousands in the UK and US, was sentenced to life at Woolwich crown court in 2006. The CIA repeatedly claimed that intelligence gained while interrogating the 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, had led to Barot’s arrest in the UK.
Under questioning, Mohammed revealed the identity of a jihadist known as “Issa” based in the UK, the CIA claimed. The information gleaned from Mohammed was “otherwise unavailable” and “saved lives”, the agency claimed.
“These representations were inaccurate,” the Senate report says. “The operation that resulted in the identification of a UK-based ‘Issa’, the identification of ‘Issa’ as Dhiren Barot, Dhiren Barot’s arrest, and the thwarting of his plotting, resulted from the investigative activities of UK . . . authorities. Contrary to CIA representations, Mohammed did not provide the first reporting on a UK-based ‘Issa’, nor are there records to support the CIA representation that reporting from CIA detainees subjected to the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques resulted in Dhiren Barot’s arrest.” The reports suggest much of the intelligence for Barot’s arrest came from plans found on a computer seized during a raid on a house in Pakistan in July 2004.
The shoe bombers
Saajid Badat, as sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2005 for plotting to kill passengers on a trans-Atlantic flight with fellow jihadist Richard Reid, using explosives in his shoes. Reid went ahead with the attempted plot, but Badat did not go ahead in the end.
His identification and capture was another key case cited by the CIA to justify its methods. Intelligence extracted from Badat was even cited by the US Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel as part of its claim that certain enhanced interrogation techniques complied with the United Nations’ torture conventions. However, the report from the Senate intelligence committee found that, far from the CIA playing a central role, it was “UK domestic investigative efforts, reporting from foreign intelligence services, international law enforcement efforts, and US military reporting” that led to Badat’s capture and detention.