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Detainee says torture forced confession

March 31, 2007 at 4:28 PM

WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- An al-Qaida suspect alleges he was tortured into making false confessions about Middle East terrorism attacks, U.S. military tribunal transcripts say.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, believed by U.S. officials to be involved in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole, told the panel he was repeatedly tortured at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and he admitted to participating in terrorist plots because of the abuse while in CIA custody, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

Nashiri "was tortured into confession and once he made a confession his captors were happy and they stopped torturing him," according to Pentagon transcripts of the March 14 hearing.

Nashiri's allegations followed claims of abuse made by Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, during a Combatant Status Review Tribunal hearing at Guantanamo Bay.

A CIA spokesman said the CIA's terrorist interrogation program was "conducted lawfully," the Post said.

Nashiri, a Saudi national, is one of 14 detainees who were confined secretly for years and are undergoing a process to determine whether they should be held indefinitely in maximum security at Guantanamo Bay.

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