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CIA, FBI debate importance of captive

Dec. 18, 2007 at 10:05 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The FBI and CIA are butting heads over whether al-Qaida captive Abu Zubaida was an unstable hotelier or a bona fide terrorist, the Washington Post said.

The CIA destroyed tapes of Zubaida's interrogation, which included what are called "enhanced interrogation" techniques including waterboarding, a simulated drowning, the Post said. A House measure to ban waterboarding and other extreme interrogation measures has stalled in the Senate under the threat of a presidential veto.

CIA officials considered Zubaida a key operative whose disclosures saved lives, and former CIA Director George Tenet in a book said he "had had been at the crossroads of many al-Qaida operations and was in position to -- and did -- share critical information with his interrogators."

The FBI, including agents who questioned Zubaida, has expressed doubt about his stability, particularly after coercive interrogations began, the Post said. In legal papers, Zubaida has said that, to make interrogations stop, he said whatever he thought interrogators wanted to hear.

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