SMILE Jihaddi 9-11 suspect repeatedly TORTURED!!! (subject edit test)
Posted 01 February 2003 - 01:07 AM
Ex-Inmate in Syria Cites Others' Accounts
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 31, 2003; Page A14
CASABLANCA, Morocco -- In January 2002, Driss bin Lakoul, a 38-year-old Moroccan committed to jihad, was arrested in Syria after unsuccessfully attempting to reach Afghanistan, where he wanted to fight against U.S. forces. For three months, the soft-spoken, bearded man with glasses recounted in an interview here, he was held in Damascus at the Far' Falastin detention center run by Syrian military intelligence.
In the prison, inmates spoke of a German citizen held in the rat-infested basement, a warren of lightless cells each barely three feet long, three feet wide and less than six feet in height, bin Lakoul said. The prisoner was taken out of the cell only for interrogation and torture, according to prisoners.
That German, bin Lakoul said, was Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born naturalized citizen who had lived in Hamburg and, according to investigators, functioned as al Qaeda's prime recruiter there. Investigators say they believe Zammar, 41, played a key role in the formation of the Hamburg cell that led the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
"There were five brothers in the prison's underground [area] who saw this man, three Saudis and two Yemenis," said bin Lakoul. "They saw him around mid-March 2002. They could talk with him down there; the walls were not thick. A brother from Saudi Arabia was in the cell next to him, and this brother from Saudi Arabia also saw how this [man] was taken away to torture." Bin Lakoul said he never saw the man.
"It's a terrible place," bin Lakoul said of the prison, adding that the cries of tortured inmates were generally audible and that he felt lucky to have been beaten only on the soles of his feet with cable wires.
He said he spent three months in Far' Falastin, then three months elsewhere in Syrian custody. After that, he said, he was deported to Morocco, where he was held for another five months before being released late last year.
Zammar was arrested in Morocco in November 2001, then flown secretly to Syria two weeks later. In Moroccan officials' view, his detention was a triumph of an international counterterrorism alliance, drawing on cooperation between the United States and Syria, a country that Washington officially condemns as a sponsor of terrorism.
But Zammar's fate also exposes the raw underside of the war on terrorism. Human rights groups condemn his transfer to Syria as a "rendition," an extra-legal deportation of a suspect against whom there is deep suspicion but insufficient evidence for a court of law. In some cases, the detainee is sent to countries where torture is common.
Senior government sources here said that U.S. officials took part in the questioning of Zammar during his 15-day detention in Morocco. And U.S. officials knew Zammar was being flown to Damascus, the sources said.
There was no independent confirmation of the account of Zammar that bin Lakoul gave. But human rights groups have documented the use of tiny cells in the Far' Falastin center. Prisoners can never lie down to sleep and, forced to remain upright or hunched, eventually suffer crippling degeneration of the bones, the groups say.
Amnesty International has described the Far' Falastin center as a place of "appalling" human rights abuses. "Torture is routine, especially with political detainees," said Magda Wendorff, a spokeswoman for Amnesty in London. "Many are held incommunicado. Beatings are frequent."
Standing six feet tall and weighing 300 pounds, Zammar once cut a distinctive figure in radical Islamic circles. According to German investigators, he became al Qaeda's prime recruiter in Hamburg. He was a frequent visitor to the walk-up apartment where Mohamed Atta and other hijackers gathered.
Zammar is a loud and arrogant man, acquaintances and investigators said, and his sense of impunity after Sept. 11 cost him his freedom.
In the weeks after the attacks, Zammar was questioned by German police but refused to cooperate, according to documents filed in the Hamburg trial of Mounir Motassadeq, a suspected accomplice of the Hamburg cell who is charged with accessory to murder and membership in a terrorist organization. The lack of hard evidence allowed Zammar to freely leave Germany in October 2001 for Morocco.
In interviews here, Moroccan officials provided the first detailed account of Zammar's itinerary in Morocco and his statements under questioning .
Under interrogation in Morocco, they said, Zammar acknowledged playing a role in the formation and radicalization of the Hamburg cell, but held firm that after the hijackers went to Afghanistan for training and orders for a specific mission, he was shut out of their plans. He said he was as surprised as anyone else when he watched the attacks unfold on television.
Zammar felt sufficiently safe that he traveled openly to Morocco and then Mauritania, according to officials who ordered him followed from the moment he stepped off the plane.
In Morocco, Zammar first wanted to finalize a divorce, his own. A year earlier, he had taken an 18-year-old Moroccan as a second wife in a ceremony performed by a radical Islamic group in Morocco. He already had a wife and six children in Hamburg, and therefore he could not legally move the new wife to Germany as he had promised her and her family. So shortly after arriving in Casablanca, Zammar formally "returned" the woman to her family, according to Moroccan officials.
Zammar returned to Casablanca, stayed a couple of days and attended Friday prayers, then traveled to Marrakech using public transportation.
There he went to the spacious house of the family of Mounir Motassadeq, the Moroccan now on trial in Germany. In the days after the attacks in the United States, Motassadeq had been picked up and questioned repeatedly by German police back in Hamburg. Before leaving Germany, Moroccan officials said, Zammar had promised Motassadeq he would visit the family.
Zammar spent 10 hours in the house, where an upper floor had been converted into an apartment for the expected return of Motassadeq, his Russian wife and two children. Zammar's message to the parents: Don't worry; the authorities have nothing. "Zammar went to make them feel better," said one official.
After visiting the Motassadeqs, he went to the nearby family home of another Hamburg suspect, Abdelghani Mzoudi, a 29-year-old from Marrakech, who was charged last October with supporting a terrorist group. Zammar spent the night with the Mzoudis, delivering the same message of reassurance.
At 5 a.m. the next day, he drove to the neighboring country of Mauritania, where he spent about a week. Moroccan officials say Zammar wanted to set up a new residence for his family in Mauritania, a strict Islamic country. "He wanted to find a fundamentalist state to raise his children and after Afghanistan, he thought Mauritania would be best," an official here said.
Zammar returned to Casablanca the night before his flight home and stayed with a friend. The police swooped in the next morning as the two were driving to the airport. Zammar was interrogated first at the headquarters of Morocco's internal security agency, which is tucked away in a forest on the edge of the capital, Rabat.
There he lauded Hamburg cell leader Mohamed Atta and the 18 other hijackers, the Moroccan officials said. The agents questioning him assumed that some of this bravado stemmed from his belief that as a German citizen he could be deported only back to Germany.
"He praised them over and over again. He said they were soldiers of God, that it was great what they did," said a Moroccan official. "He said, 'Islam will rule the world.' "
During his interrogation, Zammar also claimed to have come up with the idea of using commercial planes as missiles. He told his interrogators that he passed the concept to the senior al Qaeda leadership. Despite this boast, Moroccan officials concluded that Zammar did not know of the attacks in advance. "He knew nothing specific," said one official here.
Zammar acknowledged recruiting Motassadeq and others in Hamburg into Osama bin Laden's organization. "Motassadeq was a member of al Qaeda. Of that there's no doubt," said a Moroccan official. "And as an Islamist, he had to help" the hijackers. Moroccan officials said they believe, based on their questioning of Zammar and other information, that Motassadeq also did not know of the plan in advance.
After 15 days under Moroccan questioning, Zammar was hustled onto a plane for Syria.
The legal pretext, officials said, was a 20-year-old charge stemming from his alleged membership in the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic radical group that operated in many Arab countries and was violently suppressed in Syria in 1982. No public extradition hearing was held. In Morocco, suspects are supposed to be brought before a court for a hearing 72 hours after arrest, according to the Moroccan Human Rights Association.
The Moroccans said that they could not hand Zammar directly to the United States because, unlike Syria, it had not filed charges against him. And Zammar's German citizenship could have become a much greater issue in the United States. So he was sent to his country of origin.
His legal status remains in limbo. U.S., Moroccan and German officials have confirmed that he is being held in Syria. The government there, however, declined to comment on whether it has him.
Special correspondents Souad Mekhennet and Shannon Smiley contributed to this report.
Posted 01 February 2003 - 03:17 AM
Not that America wold do any of that type of stuff, oopsiwhoo! It appears they are... But apparently when the good guys do it its a good thing that some schmuck is having electrodes attatched to his genitals?
Posted 01 February 2003 - 04:46 PM
From an ethical point of view, who would or would not use torture?
Say, someone had your spouse, children and parents put in immediate danger, would you or wouldn't "turn the dogs" on them ?
Posted 02 February 2003 - 05:10 AM
Actually, I was answering American Guys question. I wouldn't torture someone, but if the circumstances were right, I would hurt or even kill someone, neither involves torture, except for people who can only see pain as being related to torture.
Posted 02 February 2003 - 06:40 AM
Your attitude is indicative of the all powerful persuasivness and justification of fear.
Just like in the sixties, it is happening again - anyone who had a contrary opinion was considered un American and villified. But ask yourselves - what will be pushed through under the terror of fear? What sort of society are you going to have afterwards?
Okay you say to me "torture of our enemys is a good thing. They hurt us so we are justified in hurting them"
"Is it really"? I ask. "Aren't we better than them? Aren't we saying we are engaing in this war because we have morally judged them and found them wanting? Don't we consider ourselves to be somehow superior to them because we don't torture and maim?"
"But if we do these things - don't we become as degenerate as the enemy and then are not the enemy justified in using the same weapons we used on them back on us"?
Then as some for sighted person pointed out - when does torture become justified? When you know that if you do not torture some one thousands may die needlessly - this sounds pretty persuasive.
However torture is not measured in numbers. It can never be justified by digits. Torture is an example of a society's soul. In a democratic representative democracy there is never a justification for it because torture does not exist in the moral and legal preconceptions of that society.
But the joy of this is that Mr phallis will never read or consider
these ideas - Andy Osnard is off the read list - just like his predecesors he has closed his ears and will remain content in his moral high ground - murdering, pilaging and raping in the name of truth justice and the American way. I just wonder that by the end of it - how much of the American way will be left?
I have always thought that the only reason you fear an opposition's opinion is because you know that yours is weak?
Dear Mr fu2
A Bond fan by any chance. I distictly remember "one man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" from Die Another Day. A perfect reminder of why everything is relative.
Posted 02 February 2003 - 12:49 PM
In Egypt, the person 'being questioned' has his family brought to a cell next to the detainee. Four or five large, hungry rotweillers are held near the children who are then smeared with cow blood.
The interogator explains to the detainee the consequences of retaining the needed information. The interogator assures the detainee that like other previously promised sanctions this one is an absolute certainty.
I understand the prospect of seeing ones children being eaten alive one at a time is a tremendous "persuader", especially if the detainee is under the additional stress of repeated electrical shock to sensitive areas.
Hence the term 'turning the dogs' loose.
I hope this clears up uny misunderstanding as to my terminology.
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