Egypt: Leaked CIA document 'shows true face of US'

Alessandria, 27 August (AKI) - The former imam and terrorism suspect who was abducted by CIA and Italian agents and allegedly tortured in his native Egypt, has told Adnkronos International his ordeal shows "the true face" of United States intelligence agencies.

"My kidnapping has shown beyond a shadow of doubt the truce face of US secret services, which carry out operations that violate international law," Hasan Mustafa Nasr, told AKI in an interview.

"The US claims to be the land of freedom and human rights, but my abduction demonstrates this is a lie," said Nasr, who is known as Abu Omar.

Nasr's abduction from a Milan street in February 2003 is specifically mentioned in a secret CIA document released this week by the whistle-blowing Wikileaks website discussing the US as a possible "exporter of terrorism".

In a landmark ruling last November, an Italian judge convicted 23 CIA agents and two Italian agents of Nasr's abduction in broad daylight.

Three other Americans were acquitted on grounds of diplomatic immunity, including the CIA's former chief in Italy.

All of the Americans were tried in absentia.

Two former Italian secret agents were sentenced to three years in prison.

It was the first trial involving the CIA's controversial so-called "extraordinary rendition" programme involving the kidnapping and detention of terrorism suspects in countries outside the US.

Nasr alleges he was flown to Egypt and tortured in prison there.

The CIA has declined to comment on the case, and Italy's government has denied involvement.

"My case has revealed many secrets that had been kept hidden from the world. There have been tens upon hundreds of dirty operations," Nasr told AKI.

Nasr turned down an offer by US agents to give him US citizenship and two million dollars to keep quiet about his ordeal, he told AKI.

Nasr's wife Ghali Nabila has claimed 5 million euros in compensation, while lawyers acting for Nasr sought 10 million euros in compensation for the distress he and his family suffered.

Nasr was released in 2007 and now lives in the Egyptian city of Alessandria. He is suspected of recruiting Muslim fighters to train in Afghanistan and said he will set up an Islamist party with any damages he is awarded.

He could still face arrest if he returns to Italy.

He has announced he plans to run in Egypt's parliamentary election in November.


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