CIA abducted two Muslims in Austria

The CIA kidnapped at least two Muslim residents in Austria, including one with links to an Egyptian imam who was abducted in Italy in 2003, a respected Austrian magazine reported on Monday.

CIA abducted two Muslims in Austria

CIA agents seized Gamal Menshawi, an Egyptian doctor and a prominent Muslim leader in the Austrian southeastern town of Graz, when his flight stopped over in Amman, Jordan, in late 2002, according to the Profil magazine.

The weekly said that Menshawi had links to Osama Mustafa Hassan, an Egyptian Muslim cleric also known as Abu Omar, who was kidnapped by the Central Intelligence Agency in the northern Italian city of Milan in February 2003.

According to Profil, both men were secretly transferred to Egypt, where they were detained in the same prison.

Italian authorities have launched an investigation into Abu Omar's abduction, which concluded that members of Italy's Sismi military intelligence agency cooperated with the CIA in the operation.

Two top Sismi officials have been arrested in May in connection with the kidnap case. An Italian court has already issued a European arrest warrant, which is valid across the 25-nation bloc, for 22 CIA agents over the abduction of Abu Omar, who is still being held in Egypt.

"Hit and deprived of sleep"

Profil also reported on the story of a Muslim computer technician, native to an east African country but resident in Vienna, who said that he was kidnapped by CIA agents during a stopover in Jordan in January 2003.

"I was hit and deprived of sleep for several nights and interrogated by Jordanian and American experts," said the man, who didn't identify himself.

He said he was detained for three months before being released.

According to Profil, Austria's domestic intelligence service BVT worked closely with the CIA in the kidnap operations.

Austria's interior minister denied any knowledge of the operation.

The European Union is investigating reports that EU states aided Washington in its illegal policy of "extraordinary rendition", under which foreign suspects are flown to foreign countries without legal process.

Human right groups say that "extraordinary rendition" is a violation of international law, as the suspects often end up being tortured in third countries.

The United States has admitted using the practice of "extraordinary renditions" as a tool in the "war on terror", but claimed that it has never handed over suspects to countries that condone torture.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16