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Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2007

Warrants issued for 13 suspected CIA agents

February 1, 2007

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— German prosecutors said Wednesday that they have issued arrest warrants for 13 suspected CIA agents who allegedly abducted a German citizen in an apparent anti-terrorist operation gone wrong.

It was Washington's second European ally to seek the arrest of purported CIA agents for spiriting away a terrorism suspect. Italian prosecutors want to question 25 agents and one other American in the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric suspected of terrorism.

Munich prosecutor Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld told The Associated Press that warrants in the latest case were issued in the last few days. He said the unidentified agents were sought on suspicion of wrongfully imprisoning Khaled al-Masri and causing him serious bodily harm.

Al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, says he was detained in December 2003 at the Serbian-Macedonian border and then flown by the CIA to a jail in Afghanistan, where he was abused. He says he was let go in Albania five months later and told he had been seized in a case of mistaken identity.

Rights activists have seized on al-Masri's story and other cases to demand that the U.S. stop "extraordinary rendition" - moving terrorism suspects to third countries where they could face torture. Some European governments have been accused of winking at the practice.

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