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Who is Binyam Mohammed al-Habashi
Binyam Mohammed al-Habashi, 29, a refugee from Ethiopia who arrived in the UK with his father in 1995, was a janitor at a mosque in west London. Captured in Pakistan in April 2002, he was then handed over to the US authorities, who, in what appears to be one of the most devastatingly inept failures of intelligence in the whole of the “War on Terror,” decided – apparently based on a “confession” extracted under torture by Abu Zubaydah, a “high-value” al-Qaeda suspect, who was had recently been captured – that he was a major al-Qaeda terrorist, who was planning to radioactive “dirty bomb” in a US city.
In a successful attempt to force a confession out of him, al-Habashi was “rendered” to Morocco, whose notoriously brutal interrogators, working on behalf of the Americans, tortured him for 18 months, repeatedly cutting his penis with razor blades, and he was then transferred to the “Dark Prison” in Afghanistan. Scheduled to face a Military Commission (a show trial in which secret evidence is withheld from the accused), his case was dropped in June 2006 after the Supreme Court ruled that the Commissions were illegal, and has not been reinstated.
A lawyer for a Guantanamo prisoner has urged U.S. authorities to preserve CIA photos that would prove his client was tortured when the spy agency allegedly sent him to Morocco for questioning about al-Qaida links.
The request is urgent because of the disclosure that the CIA destroyed videotaped interrogations of two suspected terrorists now held at Guantanamo, lawyer Clive Stafford Smith said.
Stafford Smith alleges Binyam Mohamed was abused during 18 months in captivity in Morocco, where he was flown after he was captured in Pakistan in 2002. He was later transferred to a CIA-run prison in Afghanistan and then to the U.S. base in Guantanamo, Cuba.
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