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4 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I August 2009
MI5 role in torture
case to be probed
whether its security service, MI5, was who was released from Guantanamo
involved in the torture, rendition, and in February after spending a total of
mistreatment of suspects, saying seven years in US custody without
the British government was hiding charge or trial-- claims that the MI5
behind a “wall of secrecy” over the fed questions to his interrogators
allegations. in Morocco, where he says he was
The lawmakers believe that a full severely beaten.
independent inquiry into the allegations According to documents revealed
is the only way to address “woefully by Britain’s high court on Friday, an
deficient” government accountability MI5 officer known as Witness B visited
for security and intelligence services. Morocco three times during the period
“In view of the large number of former Guantanamo detainee, Binyam
unanswered questions ... there is Mohamed, was secretly interrogated
now no other way to restore public and tortured there.
confidence in the intelligence services The London court also said that
than by setting up an independent Witness B interrogated Mohamed
inquiry,” the joint parliamentary incommunicado in Pakistan after the
committee said in a report. UK resident was arrested in Pakistan
Several former Guantanamo in early 2002.
detainees, some of them British He was then transferred by US
residents, say they were tortured intelligence officials to Morocco,
Following the revelation of documents
while held abroad with the knowledge where he was tortured with impunity in
proving London’s complicity in
-- if not the direct participation -- of the absence of relevant laws banning
the torture of ‘terror’ suspects
British intelligence officers. torture.
overseas, British MPs have called
“The recent allegations about Lawmakers have also urged the
for an independent inquiry into the
complicity in torture should be a wake- government to immediately publish
allegations.
up call to ministers that the current instructions given to MI5 and MI6,
A parliamentary committee on
arrangements are not satisfactory,” it secret intelligence service, on
human rights criticized the government
said. the detention and interrogation of
for refusing to answer questions about
Binyam Mohamed -- a UK resident suspects abroad.
Al-Qaeda almost
entered MI5
Britain’s MI5 nearly enlisted a as the service was diversifying its subcommittee.
number of al-Qaeda operatives counterterrorism endeavors after the “I would like some clarification from
before barring them from the security London bombings. the government to see how successful
service on suspicion, a senior British Two of the men had reportedly we’ve been at detecting them.”
parliamentarian speculates. attended militant training sessions in The intelligence body is already in
Conservative MP Patrick Mercer Pakistan and others had ‘unexplained’ hot waters over its alleged facilitation
said in 2005 the MI5 was somewhere no-shows on their resumes. of an American torture program.
down the recruiting process of the “What concerns me is not all these According to recently-released court
six men when it suspected their individuals ... have necessarily been papers, the MI5 would in cases
backgrounds, AFP reported. nailed,” added Mercer, who runs interrogate the alleged terror suspects
The recruitment was taking place the parliamentary counter-terrorism in illegal US custody.
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