Disappearing Act: Rendition by the Numbers

Piecing together a picture of the CIA's secret rendition program.

Mon Mar. 3, 2008 4:00 AM EST

An extraordinary rendition may be defined as the extrajudicial transfer of an individual to a country where there is reasonable probability he will be tortured. In our research we have counted 67 known cases of extraordinary rendition by the United States since 1995. While the details are often incomplete, they help paint a more complete picture of this secretive and controversial Central Intelligence Agency program.

Our research is based on reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU Law School, Andy Worthington's The Guantanamo Files, Stephen Grey's Ghost Plane, and media accounts. (Special thanks to Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch for her invaluable assistance.)

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Before September 11

Then-CIA director George Tenet testified before the 9/11 Commission that there were more than 80 renditions before September 11, 2001. We found information on 29 cases of extraordinary and ordinary rendition prior to 9/11. Of the 14 that qualify as extraordinary renditions, 12 were to Egypt.

Prisoners who remained in American custody generally were accused of involvement with terrorist actions, such as the 1985 Egypt Air hijacking, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the 1998 African embassy bombings.

Names in parentheses are alternate spellings or aliases.

 

Name

Citizenship

Rendered
From

Rendered
To

Date

Outcome

1

Abu Talal al-Qasimi (Talat Fouad Qassem)

Egyptian

Croatia

Egypt

September 1995

Questioned on a U.S. ship off the coast of Croatia; transferred to Egypt in 1998; executed in Cairo

2

Ahmed al-Naggar

Egyptian

Albania

Egypt

July 1998

Hanged in Egypt, February 2000

3

Mohammed Hassan Tita

Egyptian

Albania

Egypt

July 1998

Sentenced to 10 years in prison in Egypt

4

Shawki Salama Attiya

Egyptian

Albania

Egypt

July 1998

Sentenced to life imprisonment in Egypt

5

Ahmed Ismail Osman Saleh

Egyptian

Albania

Egypt

August 1998

Hanged in Egypt, February 2000

6

Essam Abdel Tawwab Abdel Halim

Egyptian

Bulgaria

Egypt

August 1998

Sentenced to 10 years in prison in Egypt

7

Ihab Mohammed Saqr

Unknown

Azerbaijan

Egypt

Fall 1998

Unknown

8

Ahmed Mohammed Mabrouk

Unknown

Azerbaijan

Egypt

Fall 1998

Unknown

9

Essam Mohammed Hafez Marzouq

Unknown

Azerbaijan

Egypt

Fall 1998

Unknown

10

Mohammed al-Zawahiri (brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri)

Egyptian

United Arab Emirates

Egypt

April 1999

Imprisoned in Egypt

11

Hani al-Sayegh

Saudi

U.S.

Saudi Arabia

October 1999

Deported to Saudi Arabia, October 1999

12

Hussein al-Zawahiri (brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri)

Egyptian

Malaysia

Egypt

December 1999

Released in 2000

13

Abdul Rahman Muhammad Nasir Qasim al-Yaf'i

Yemeni

Egypt

Jordan

October 2000

Returned to Yemen, March 2001

14

Rifa Ahmed Taha (Abu Yasser)

Egyptian

Syria

Egypt

2001

Unclear if rendered before or after 9/11

After September 11

We found information on 117 renditions that have occurred since September 11, 2001. When we excluded renditions to Afghanistan, CIA secret prisons (or "black sites"), Guantanamo, or American custody, we found 53 cases of extraordinary rendition. All individuals for whom the rendition destination is known were sent to countries that have been criticized by the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which document "torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

Of these 53 prisoners, more than one quarter have explicitly claimed that they were tortured while in foreign custody; four claim they were tortured while passing through American custody either en route to or following foreign custody. Four others may have been tortured while in foreign custody based on secondhand accounts or vague descriptions of treatment in prisons in their destination countries. Sixteen of the 53 individuals have been released after extraordinary renditions, and half of them claimed they were tortured while in foreign custody; two claim they were tortured while in American custody.

 

Name

Citizenship

Rendered
From

Rendered
To

Date

Outcome

1

Jamal Mohammed Alwai Mar'i

Yemeni

Pakistan

Jordan

September 2001

Says he was not tortured in Jordan; transferred to Guantanamo

2

Mamdouh Habib

Australian

Pakistan

Egypt, Afghanistan

October 2001

Tortured in Egypt; transferred to Guantanamo; released January 2005

3

Jamil Qasim Saeed Mohammed

Yemeni

Pakistan

Jordan

October 2001

Unknown

4

Muhammad Haydar Zammar

German (Syrian descent)

Morocco

Syria

November 2001 or December 2001

Tortured in Syria; now in Syrian custody

5

Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Abu Musab)

Mauritanian

Mauritania

Jordan, Afghanistan

November 2001

Tortured in Jordan; transferred to Guantanamo

6

Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (Ali Abdul-Hamid al-Fakhiri)

Libyan

Pakistan

Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya

In CIA custody as of November 2001; rendered to Libya late 2005/early 2006

Possibly tortured in Egypt; sent to Libya

7

Ahmed Agiza

Egyptian (living in Sweden)

Sweden

Egypt

December 2001

Tortured in Egypt; still imprisoned there

8

Muhammad Zery

Egyptian (living in Sweden)

Sweden

Egypt

December 2001

Tortured in Egypt; released October 2003

9

Hassan (Raba'i)

Libyan

Pakistan

Libya, Afghanistan

2002

May have been rendered to Libya in late 2005 or 2006; status unknown

10

Muhammad Saad Iqbal Madni

Egyptian (held Pakistani passport)

Indonesia

Egypt, Afghanistan

January 2002

Fellow prisoners say he was tortured in Egypt; transferred to Guantanamo

11

Walid al-Qadasi

Yemeni

Iran

Afghanistan, Yemen

January 2002

Tortured in "dark prison" in Afghanistan; transferred to Yemen April 2004; released February 2006

12

Anas al-Libi (Anas al-Sabai, Nazih al-Raghie)

Libyan

Sudan

Probably Egypt

February 2002

Unknown

13

Abduh Ali Shaqawi (Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi; Riyadh the Facilitator)

Yemeni

Pakistan

Jordan, Afghanistan

February 2002

Transferred to Afghanistan January 2004; transferred to Guantanamo September 2004.

14

Abou Elkassim Britel [Abu al-Kassem Britel]

Italian/
Moroccan

Pakistan

Pakistan, Morocco

March or May 2002

Tortured in Morocco; released February 2003; recaptured May 2003; currently in Moroccan custody

15

Suleiman Abdalla Salim (Suleiman Abdalla, Issa Tanzania)

Yemeni, Tanzanian

Somalia

Afghanistan or Kenya

March 2002 or March 2003

Claims he was tortured in U.S. custody; status unknown

16

Binyam Mohamed al-Habashi

Ethiopian

Pakistan

Morocco, Afghanistan

April or July 2002

Tortured in Morocco; transferred to Guantanamo, September 2004

17

Barah Abdul Latif

Syrian

Pakistan

Syria

May 2002

Questioned in Palestine Branch Prison, Damascus

18

Bahaa Mustafa Jaghel

Syrian

Pakistan

Syria

May 2002

Questioned in Palestine Branch Prison, Damascus

19

Abdel Halim Dalak

Unknown

Pakistan

Syria

May 2002

Student arrested in November 2001; Status unknown

20

Omar Ghramesh

Unknown

Pakistan

Syria

May 2002

Arrested with Abu Zubaydah; Status unknown

21

Unidentified teenager

Unknown

Pakistan

Syria

May 2002

Status unknown

22

Abu Zubair al-Haili (Fawzi Saad al-'Obaydi)

Saudi

Morocco

Morocco

June 2002

Tortured in Morocco; Status unknown

23

Sheikh Ahmed Salim (Swedan)

Kenyan

Pakistan

Unknown

July 2002

Status unknown

24

Yasser Tinawi

Syrian

Somalia

Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria

July 2002

Interrogated by U.S. agents in Ethiopia, then flown to Cairo; transferred to Syria

25

Omar bin Hassan

Palestinian

Somalia

Ethiopia

July 2002

Released after questioning on Somali border

26

Maher Arar

Syrian/
Canadian

New York

Syria

September 2002

Tortured in Syria; released February 2004

27

Hassan bin Attash

Saudi (born in Yemen)

Pakistan

Jordan, Afghanistan

September 2002

Tortured in Jordan; transferred to Guantanamo

28

Saif al Islam el Masry

Egyptian

Georgia

Possibly Egypt

September 2002

Believed to be held in a secret CIA prison

29

Abdallah al-Sadeq (Sadek)

Libyan

Thailand

Libya

2003

Libyan custody

30

Abu Munder al-Saadi

Libyan

Hong Kong

Libya

2003

Libyan custody

31

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu Omar)

Egyptian; asylum in Italy

Italy

Egypt

February 2003

Tortured in Egypt; released February 2007

32

Aafia

Siddiqui

Pakistani

Pakistan

March 2003

Status unknown

33

Saud Memon (involved in Daniel Pearl slaying)

Pakistani

South Africa

Pakistan

March 2003

Released April 2007 “badly injured and emaciated”; Died May 2007

34

Laid Saidi

Algerian

Expelled from Tanzania to Malawi

Afghanistan; Algeria

May 2003

Says he was tortured at Bagram; transferred to Algeria; released August 2004

35

Safwan al-Hasham (Haffan al-Hasham)

Saudi

Pakistan


May 2003

Appeared on a congressional "Terrorists No Longer a Threat" list in July 2006; status unknown

36

Jawad al-Bashar

Egyptian

Pakistan

 

May 2003

Status unknown

37

Mahmoud Sardar Issa

Sudanese

Malawi

Zimbabwe, Sudan

June 2003

Released July 2003 in Sudan

38

Fahad al-Bahli

Saudi

Malawi

Zimbabwe, Sudan

June 2003

Released July 2003 in Sudan

39

Arif Ulusam

Turkish

Malawi

Zimbabwe, Sudan

June 2003

Released July 2003 in Sudan

40

Ibrahim Itabaci

Turkish

Malawi

Zimbabwe, Sudan

June 2003

Released July 2003 in Sudan

41

Khalifa Abdi Hassan

Saudi

Malawi

Zimbabwe, Sudan

June 2003

Released July 2003 in Sudan

42

Salah Nasser Salim 'Ali

Yemeni

Indonesia

Jordan, Afghanistan, Yemen

August 2003 / October 2003

Tortured in Jordan; held in Yemen

43

Muhammad Faraj Ahmed Bashmilah

Yemeni

Indonesia

Jordan, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, Yemen

October 2003

Tortured in Jordan; released March 2006

44

Salah Nasir Salim 'Ali Qaru

Yemeni

Jordan

Djibouti, Afghanistan, Eastern Europe

October 2003

Tortured at a "black site"; returned to Yemen May 2005

45

Muhammad Abdullah Salah al-Assad

Yemeni

Tanzania

Djibouti, Afghanistan, Yemen (CIA custody)

December 2003

Harsh conditions in secret prisons (no direct mention of torture); released March 2006

46

Khaled al-Sharif (Abu Hazem)

Libyan

Pakistan

Libya,
Afghanistan

Late 2003

May have been rendered to Libya in late 2005 or 2006; status unknown

47

Ibad al Yaquti al Sheikh al Sufiyan

Saudi

Pakistan

Unknown

January 2004

Status unknown

48

Walid bin Azmi, USS Cole suspect

Unknown

Pakistan

Unknown

January 2004

Status unknown

49

Marwan Ibrahim Jabour

Palestinian (born in Jordan)

Pakistan

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Israel

May 2004

Tortured in Pakistan; released in Gaza November 2006

50

Sharif al-Masri (Abd-al-Sattar Sharif al-Masri. Told Pak. authorities of Al Q plan to smuggle nuclear materials to U.S. from Mexico)

Egyptian

Pakistan

Unknown

August 2004

Status unknown

51

Qari Saifullah Akhtar (Amir Harkat-ul-Ansar Qari Saifullah)

Pakistani

United Arab Emirates

Pakistan

August 2004

Appeared on FBI's "Terrorists No Longer a Threat" list in July 2006; status unknown

52

Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (Abu Musab al-Suri)

Syrian-Spanish dual

Pakistan

India? Syria?

November 2005

Arrested by Pakistani police; was in U.S. custody in early 2006; now likely in Syrian custody

53

[First name unknown] al-Mahdi-Jawdeh (Abu Ayoub, Ayoub al-Libi)

Libyan

Pakistan

Libya

2006

Status unknown

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