Polish probe urged of CIA ‘black site,’ ‘torture’

Saudi detainee petitions Warsaw

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“Anybody can say what they want on the matter,” Mr. Miller said.

According to several former U.S. intelligence officials, the CIA’s prison in Poland — code-named “Quartz” — was shut down in late 2003. The officials spoke about the prison and Mr. al-Nashiri’s case on the condition of anonymity because details of the secret program remain classified.

Mr. al-Nashiri is accused of masterminding the plot to bomb the U.S. Navy destroyer, which was crippled on Oct. 12, 2000, by a blast detonated by a speedboat packed with explosives in the Yemeni port of Aden. The attack killed 17 U.S. sailors and left 39 injured.

The former U.S. intelligence officials told the AP that Mr. al-Nashiri was captured in Dubai in November 2002 and first taken to another CIA secret prison in Afghanistan known as the “Salt Pit.”

After a brief stay, he was flown to a CIA prison in Thailand before being taken to Poland on Dec. 5, 2002, along with terrorism suspect Abu Zubayda, the former officials said.

Details of the al-Nashiri petition to Polish prosecutors were not made public by the lawyers, but the move comes after a series of stories by the AP detailing new revelations about his four-year captivity and those of other terrorism suspects inside CIA black sites.

“The American justice system has failed Mr. al-Nashiri,” said Nancy Hollander, his civilian attorney in the United States. “The U.S. government has yet to provide any accountability for the illegal imprisonment or horrific torture to which U.S. agents have subjected him for almost a decade. Therefore, we are seeking to intervene in the investigation in Poland in the hopes that a court finally will recognize the injustice he has suffered.”

According to the former intelligence officials and an internal CIA special review of the program, an agency officer named Albert revved a bitless power drill near the head of a naked and hooded al-Nashiri while he was held in the Polish prison.

The CIA officer also took an unloaded semiautomatic handgun to the cell where Mr. al-Nashiri was shackled and racked the weapon’s ammunition chamber once or twice next to his head, the review reported.

The Arabic-speaking Albert, who once worked for the FBI as a linguist, was not a trained interrogator or authorized to use enhanced interrogation techniques, the special review said.

A U.S. official said the special review, led by an inspector general, showed the agency had dealt with the reported abuses. “The fact that individuals inside the program surfaced these kinds of issues themselves with the inspector general speaks to a high level of rigor and concern about the care and treatment of detainees,” said the official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity because details of the secret program remain classified.

During Mr. al-Nashiri’s Poland detention, Albert also scoured him with a stiff brush and threatened his family, according to both former officials and the special review.

“We could get your mother in here,” and “We can bring your family in here,” Albert is quoted as saying in the CIA document. The stiff brush was “intended to induce pain on al-Nashiri,” according to the special review.

The U.S. official said the use of the brush did not lead to injuries and also had been scrutinized by Justice prosecutors.

Albert and his superior in charge of the jail were both reprimanded. The CIA’s inspector general referred the case to the Bush administration’s Justice Department. Prosecutors declined in September 2003 to charge Albert with a crime, but federal authorities are reviewing the case again. Albert has since returned to intelligence work as a contract employee.

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