WASHINGTON, March 29 (UPI) -- The use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on a high-value U.S. terror detainee produced only false leads, sources say.
CIA officials did not uncover any plots based on information extracted under duress from Abu Zubaida ,a Palestinian detainee at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison camp, sources identified only as former senior U.S. government officials told Sunday's Washington Post.
Supposed leads gained during the waterboarding of Abu Zubaida turned out to be false, while the most useful information gained from him -- including the names of other al-Qaida members -- came before the use of the technique, which human rights advocates describe as torture, sources told the Post.
The officials also said Abu Zubaida's connections to al-Qaida were overestimated. Described by the Bush administration as "al-Qaida's chief of operations," later investigations determined he was not an official member of the group and didn't work directly with it until after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the newspaper reported.
Others, however, dispute that interpretation, with one unnamed counterterrorism official telling the Post, "It's simply wrong to suggest that Abu Zubaida wasn't intimately involved with al-Qaida."