· MEPs' report says member states knew of abductions
· Documents show 'strange routes' and stopovers
Thursday April 27, 2006
The CIA has operated more than 1,000 secret flights over EU territory in the past five years, some to transfer terror suspects in a practice known as "extraordinary rendition", an investigation by the European parliament said yesterday.
The figure is significantly higher than previously thought. EU parliamentarians who conducted the investigation concluded that incidents when terror suspects were handed over to US agents did not appear to be isolated. They said the suspects were often transported around Europe on the same planes by agents whose names repeatedly came up in their investigation.
They accused the CIA of kidnapping terror suspects and said those responsible for monitoring air safety regulations revealed unusual flight paths to and from European airports. The report's author, Italian MEP Claudio Fava, suggested some EU governments knew about the flights.
EU Issues Stinging Condemnation of CIA on Renditions
From the NYT:
Legislators selected to look into allegations of questionable CIA activities in Europe said flight data showed a pattern of hidden operations by American agents, and they accused some European governments of knowing about it but remaining silent.
Cases of terror suspects being secretly handed over to U.S. agents did not appear to be isolated, the lawmakers said in a preliminary report on their inquiry. European human rights treaties prohibit sending suspects to states known to torture prisoners.
''The committee deplores the fact that, as established during the committee's investigation, the CIA has used aircraft registered under fictitious company names or with private companies to secretly transfer terror suspects to other countries including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Afghanistan,'' according to a copy of the report obtained by The Associated Press.
The report said that on a number of occasions the CIA was clearly responsible for detaining terror suspects on European territory and transferring them to countries where they could face torture.