The 21st Century Phenomenon




“Extraordinary rendition” is a CIA program thought off after The 9/11 to by pass the strict limits of USA law in arresting and investigating terror suspects. The idea was to arrest terror suspects, who are not American citizens and not within US sovereignty, with or without cooperation of local security services. The “Extraordinary  Rendition” program was executed from late 2001 up to late 2006 when international and public pressure convinced USA to suspend the program.

US CIA snatched people and handed them over to other countries already since 1995, before The 9/11. Such were the cases of Talaat Fouad Qassem and the Tirana-Cell, though it was not a world wide program but executed in particular cases.  

The detained were extradited or handed over for interrogation in countries which disregard human rights and use torture as a common technique in interrogations. The interrogation of those arrested or snatched by CIA were committed with full involvement and supervision of the CIA. The “Extraordinary rendition” detainees were transferred with CIA “Secret flights” to Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Afghanistan and Central Asia countries. There were rumors about a secret jail in Romania too. 

In the years 2002-3, after operation ‘Absolute Justice’, in Afghanistan, up to the invasion to Iraq in 03/2003, one of the main junctions to the “secret flights” was Damascus Airport in Syria, when Syria tried to benefit from cooperation with US in the War on Terror. One of the first arrested in “Extraordinary rendition” program, Haydar Zammar, ended in a Syrian jail.    

The families of the snatched detainees were not informed about the fate of their loved ones and were kept in the dark about their relatives.

According to human right organizations about 40 prisoners just disappeared, others were uncovered, few months after their mysterious disappearance, in Guantanamo, and few, such as Mustafa Hassan Nasr or Khaled el-Masri, were eventually released to tell the story.   

The “Extraordinary rendition”, aside Guantanamo detention center, was one of the “Dirty tricks” methods used by USA in the war on terror to evade the restriction in American law, the supervision of the democratic political system, undeclared to the Red Cross and the interference of free press.  

A 06/2006 a report of the Council of Europe estimated 100 people had been kidnapped by the United States (CIA) on EU territory and rendered to other countries, often after having transited through secret detention centers.

According to a European Parliament report, from 02/2007, the CIA has conducted 1,245 secret flights, many of them to destinations where suspects could face torture.


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