Document:My CIA Rendition

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Disclaimer (#3)Document.png statement  by Abu Omar dated 2011-03-17
Subjects: Extraordinary rendition, Torture
Source: Stephen Grey's "Ghost Plane" web site (Link)

Translated from Arabic
The document was obtained by Stephen Grey from sources in Milan; news of this document's contents was first reported in the Corriere della Serra. It was allegedly smuggled out of prison in Cairo.

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The Account of an Islamist Kidnapped from the Streets of Milan

I was Kidnapped, Tortured and Imprisoned in Egypt

My name is Osama Mustafa Hassan Nassir known as Abu Omar, the Islamist kidnapped from the streets of Milan, Italy on 17th February 03, by agents of US intelligence and other states. I am currently an inmate at Cairo’s Torah Reception Prison.

I write my testimony from inside my grave and burial place: as my body became weaken, my mind distorted; I got more illness, diseases and I could sense the signs of my death.

I write my testimony from inside my grave and burial place: as the screams of the tortured, the whips of the torturers and the living hell inside the cells changed my facial features.

I write my testimony from inside my grave and burial place: as I can only be thankful and grateful to all of those who are trying to shed a light of hope on resolving the mystery of my kidnapping from Italy then my imprisonment and torture in Egypt.

Before I start giving my account of what happened, I ought to begin by listing important factors, which might help exposing the reasons behind the kidnapping and the parties involved.

  1. A senior Egyptian security official told me some interesting things while interrogating me (I was blindfolded, my hands tied up to my back, totally naked, and my body hanging from the ceiling by my feet while my head suspended upside down). This interrogator said that he visited Italy shortly before my abduction. He described the mosque where I used to pray, the mosque of Islamic Cultural College, Jenner Street. Further more; he described the streets leading to my flat, floor level and the flat number. This means that the Egyptian regime was aware of the kidnap operation and might even took part in it, along with US agents and other parties.
  2. I was told by a reliable source in Italy, that one day after I was abducted; authorities in Austria interviewed Sheikh Shoqi Mohammed, an Austrian national and an active Muslim preacher. They asked him about everything he knew about me. This happened while neither my wife nor my friends were yet aware that I was being abducted. The question here is: did the Austrian authorities know the kidnap operation? And did they know that the plane that transported me had flown over Austrian airspace?
  3. I request from the Italian judiciary to hear the testimony of Mr Nabeel Al- Tunissi, currently imprisoned in Milan. He knows important facts related to kidnap operation.
  4. About a month before the kidnap operation, many strangers called me on my mobile asking for me or requesting to talk to me, they hanged up once they know it I who answered. This meant my mobile was under surveillance all the time. The same thing was happening to my personal computer; I used to receive strange e-mails that once opened crashed the computer.
  5. An Egyptian security officer told Sheikh Mohammed Riza Al-Badri, that a video camera had been installed in side my flat in Milan and it was in operation for a long time.

Now I will describe how I was kidnapped

On 17th February around midday, I was walking from my flat in Conte Verde Street, A18, to the mosque of Islamic Culture College at Viale Jenner to attend afternoon prayers. I left work at the Muslim Community Mosque in 45 Street. I had no contacts with that mosque or with its worshipers several months before the kidnap operation.

I had the following items on me when I was abducted:

a) 450 Euros (400 Euros was the rent I was going to pay for the flat I resided with my wife).

b) My Italian passport “political refuges travel document”.

c) Italian permission to stay in Italy (the “permesso di soggiorno”)

d) My Mobile.

e) Social security card.

f) My personal medical card.

g) A watch I was wearing at the time.

h) Keys for the flat in Conte Verde Street A18

These possessions are at the headquarters of the Egyptian Intelligence (Mukhabarat) in Al-Qoba Gardens, front of the Republican Palace. I was ordered to sign a declaration that I had nothing on me.

I saw a white van ??? about ???? I was leaving the exit of the building where I lived. The van had all its doors shut. It and passed front of me. I was walking in the street near the Mosque, front of a public park, few meters from uninhabited building with a guard kiosk at its ground floor. I saw a red Fiat 127 in the street. The car stopped near the pavement next to the gate of the park, the driver of the car came towards me in a fast pace. He took a badge from his pocket and displayed it front of my face and said: “police”. He requested to see my Soggiorno (licence to be in Italy) papers. I showed him my Italian travel document and the Soggiorno (licence to be in Italy). He stood on the pavements where the building is facing the park, while I stood facing him with my back towards the park. He reached out for mobile and dialled a number and started to give my details over the phone. The appearance of this person suggested that he is an American; he had a blond hair, a bit bold at the front of the head, he had a white face and he was about 169 cm in height. With my full attention given to this person, I didn’t notice the van used to abduct me. It was the same white {??} van, I initially saw as I left the building where I lived. The van pulled over near the pavement behind my back while this American person was talking to me. The next thing, I felt myself being lifted from the ground, I turned backwards and saw two guys with Italian complexion, around 30 years old, about 187 cm and over. The American person might have been in his 40s. An Egyptian lady walking in the street witnessed the abduction. She lives at the same street and told the Arabs inside the mosque of cultural mosque in Viale Jenner. I found myself being lifted into the van, I tried to resist, but I was severely beaten in my stomach and the rest of my body. They pushed me to the floor van covered my head. It was very dark in side after the doors were shut. They tied up my hands and feet. The van moved in high speed while I was in great pain. My body began to collapse, strange sounds and white liquid came out of my mouth, my body became very straight and uncontrollably few drops of drops of urine leaked out. I heard one of the two abductors shouting; quickly they tore off my clothes and one of them pressed heart hard, massage, while, the other person removed the cover off my face pointed a small torch towards my eyes. After my eye reacted to the light, he said something and both let go of me.

The van was on the move for many hours, it must have been over 4 hours, before it came to a halt. I was carried from the van by my feet and arms (after my shoes were removed and taken) and put into another vehicle. I couldn’t tell if I were being carried by the same persons who abducted or by different people. I also was not sure what kind of vehicle they put me in. It could be either another car or light aeroplane, but I can be sure of that I didn’t feel any air turbulences or breathing difficulties that usually associated with air travel. At the same time, I didn’t feel the vehicle shaking or hitting uneven surfaces, which are usually felt when boarding a car. I don’t think I was sedated because I was conscious, even thought not full in consciousness because I was in pain after being beaten up, or they might even given me some sort of partial sedation. I am not really sure.

The second vehicle, car/aeroplane, was on the move for an hour or a bit more. They got me out of this vehicle with both hand and feet still tied up and blindfolded. The place I was taken into this time was an airport, I realised that from the cold air and the engine sound of the air-conditioning units. They left me by myself for short time, and then I could hear footsteps of about seven to eight persons heading toward me. Then they stood me upright and untied the plastic tape from my feet. Then they started to remove my clothes and they tape in my hands (I guess they used some instruments to tear off my clothes because I do not feel their hands touch me). They put new clothes on me and suddenly removed the blind covering my eyes. Initially I could not see well because my eyes were covered for a ling time, but then I saw a group of men wearing uniforms similar the ones worn bye special forces. Their uniforms had many pockets and they carried many objects usually seen with Special Forces such as pocketknives etc. In a matter of seconds they took photographs of me and covered both my head and face with a wide tape only exposing my nose and mouth. They also tied my hands to my back and feet with plastic robes. I was carried and taking into an aeroplane. I knew it was an aeroplane because I felt what one would usually feel on board an aircraft; breaking difficulties and slight chest pain during take off.

I was very cold on board, it was fridge like and below freezing, but once we took off, it began to warm up. When I first boarded the plane I could hear relaxing classical music. I was lying down, may be on the floor, a mattress or two chairs, I am not really sure. When the plane started to take off they put a headphone over my ears and I could only hear music and footsteps of the ones on aboard.

I couldn’t tell if the plane had other kidnapped or passengers on board. I also couldn’t tell if it was a civilian or military aircraft.

They attached a wire to the big toe of my right hand foot, I guess it was connected to heart monitoring device.

May be other wires were attached to my body, I couldn’t really tell. I was in a state of shock, distraught and terrified. I still feel the same way, from the moment I was abducted from the Street in Milan to this moment. I am writing my account and I am certain that the savage torture I endure day and night is leading to my death.

The plane flew for a long time, may be seven hours. I didn’t know the destination nor was I given food since I was abduction.

I suffered breathing problems while flying but it was totally ignored, I was put an oxygen mask over my nose only after I reached the point of death, they also slapped my face many times. I sensed that we reached the intended destination when the plane started circle around as if waiting for airport air traffic control permission for landing.

Few minutes later the aeroplane started to descend. Not long after that I felt someone is tying my hands and feet with even with more plastic robes. I was screaming with pain as the plastic cut throw my skin like a knife and I was bleeding. I think they did so because they though I might attempt to do someone before I leave the aeroplane, even though I was in a very bad state of heath.

They removed the earplugs and I get to hear the sounds aeroplanes engines and people talking, I couldn’t recognise the language. I heard the food steps moving in my direction, I was made to stand on my feet and I was led to a short 4 or 3 steps aeroplane step. I realised then I was on board either military or small aircraft, because I know that the step of a commercial aircraft would be no less than 20 steps. Once my feet touched the ground I heard someone calling me in Arabic, Egyptian dialect, saying “get in” he said so while he could see my feet were tied up, then he helped me get into a microbus. I was made to sit at the back of the vehicle with someone who, I guess saw my bleeding hands, removed the plastic robes with a knife and replace them with a metal shackles. I was very scared to ask him to remove the plastic robes from my feet, as I felt I was going to face death anyway.

The microbus moved quickly through the streets of Cairo for about half an hour before they ordered me to get off. I was taken into a building and inside a room; they cut free my feet, made me face the wall and removed tape covering my head and face. I was screaming with pain as my hair, facial hair, eyebrows, eyelashes were being pulled out with the. My face bled as they ordered me to open and shut my eyes quickly. They removed all my clothes and put me put me into new blue uniform (prison). I saw the faces of three Egyptian men and a photographer who took photographs of me from every direction. After that, they put the shackles back in my feet and hands and blindfolded my eyes and took me to an office while I was in great physical pain. They sat me down on a chair, when I heard a voice of a person telling that they will start the interrogation. He started to ask me about my name, my job, my family and my departure from Egypt. The he told me: “there are two senior bashes in the room with us, and one of them would like to talk to you” (Basha in Egypt stands for a senior political or military figure), so this very, very senior basha told me:

“Can you hear me well?”

I said, “Yes I do”

He said “I am going to ask you one question, and I need a short concise answer”(he wanted me to answer in one word) “if we allow you to go back to Italy right now, would you work for us?”

I said no and I wanted to carry on talking, he interrupted me and said: ”be quiet and don’t ever talk”

I felt this very important Basha was in fact the Egyptian Minister of Interior, Al Habib al-Adli; I don’t know why I had that thought. After two and half years from this incident, I read in an Arabic newspaper quoting from an American newspaper that one of the intelligence agents who took part in my abduction said that he was present at the my initial interrogation in Cairo and the office was quoted to say: “the Egyptian minister of interior asked Abu Omar to work for them, if he accepted he would ordered his immediate return to Italy” the American officer also added: “if Abu Omar had agreed we would took him back immediately, but he refused and we left without him”

After that, I was token to a tiny cell, 2 sq. meters in length by 1.5 sq. meters in width, no lavatory, weak lighting and very small hole in the ceiling for ventilation. They untied all my shackles and removed my blindfold; it was about 5 or 6 am because I could hear the sound of Morning Prayer call, ezan, when they got me into that building. I managed to sleep few hours. I was full of pain, tired sad and terrified. When the cell door was open by a uniformed guard, I realised then that I was at the National Security building (Egyptian Intelligence). This person blindfolded me and led me to the lavatory and ordered me not to talk off the blindfold till I go inside and close the door bind me, and when I finish I should knock the door so he could blindfold my eyes again. They gave me some food. After about two hours, the opened the cell door again blindfolded my eyes and tied up my hands, they took me to an interrogation office and that was when the torture began. They took all my clothes off and replaced my shackles with three shackles; two were used to tie my hands behind my back and one for one of my feet. I was standing on one foot, and every time I fall down on the floor naked, they would laugh at me, make me stand again do the same thing over again. They subjected me to electric shocks, hand beating and threats of sexual assault if I don’t confess or hide anything any information. Then they gave me a pen and paper and told me to write everything I know about my life till I left Egypt and what I did while outside the country. I was interrogated me over and over. I was shown many photographs of people in Italy, Egyptian, Tunisians, Algerians, and Moroccans etc.

Conditions at the cell were very bad even though I wasn’t blindfolded there. It was very hot in summer, temperate used to get up to 50 degree. And very cold in winter, it used to get to five degrees below zero. This caused me to get rheumatism, weak bones and chest pains.

The interrogation continued for 7 months. I was admitted on 18/02/2004 and left 14/09/2004. I managed at one time to see one of Egypt’s islamist leadership. The lavatory was outside the cells, and if we needed to use it, we have to knock the cell door so a guard would talk us there. One day, I managed to see him through a very small hole in my cell door as he was being taken to the lavatory.

The seven months passed like seven years. I was not allowed to read newspapers, magazines, nor listen to the radio or watch television and prevented from meet my family. I convince myself that the Italian government would not abandon me; the Italian ambassador one day would come and take me out of this hell. I am after all, an Italian citizen and hold an Italian passport but no one came to see me. During the interrogation they asked me about the meaning of Italian words written my passport and the Soggiorno (licence to be in Italy). They also asked me about my mobile number. Eventually I was informed that I would be transferred into another place and presented with two documents to sign. One of hem stated that I had been well treated and never subjected to any torture, while the second document stating I had no possessions, here I reminded them that I had possessions in my pockets when I was brought from Italy. The told me the persons who abducted me had stolen all my things. They tortured me till I agreed to sign.

I took off my blue uniform and made to wear the clothes, which the abdicators gave me during my abduction in Italy. Which were pyjamas, sleeveless top and half-length at the bottom.

My hands and feet were tied up and eyes blindfolded before boarding a microbus. I felt happy because I thought they were going to take me back home to Italy after and the Italian government had intervened to secure my release. They asked me if I knew where I was going, I said to the airport to get back home, but they didn’t comment. After being on the move for half an hour, the car came to a halt and the care doors opened and I was ordered to get off. I was led to a building where all a sudden I heard foot steps come towards me and took me into a room where I felt many people beating me with their fests and feet and cursing me at the same time. Then they questioned me about my name, age, job and family. They told me I was in a place no living soul could ever find me. I was still tied up and blindfolded when I was taken to my cell. They warned me from trying to remove or attempting to move the blindfold. They also said that there was a guard watching over me so if try to remove the blindfold; I would get a “torture party”.

I asked them about the direction of prayer (qobila), the lavatory and the place where I can do my ablution. The blindfold was removed and someone said you are in a lavatory. He pointed toward a small hole and told me this was the toilet and showed me a ball of water and told me this is what use for all you needs. The cell hand no electric light and one can’t tell if it was day or night there. There was no hole for ventilation and only one blanket. I was thinking how would I be able sleep in a stinky and filthy toilet not even fit for animals. The size of the room was roughly the same as my cell at Nation Security building, Egyptian Intelligence, where I stayed seven and half months. The place at al Qoba near the Republican Palace, while the new place, I later learnt, is called the organisation of State Security at Nasr city in Cairo.

I don’t want to recall that place or remember the savage treatment I endured there, but I would like to tell you few things that happened to me there:

  1. The size of cell is 2 sq. meters in length by 1.5 sq. meters in width; it is totally sealed with only air extractor with a motor sounded like a tank engine. There was only one dirty and smelly blanket property used by tens of inmates before me. The cell is underground and I one cannot tell if it is day or night. Mice, cockroaches and other insects walk over my body around the clock.
  2. I didn’t know the prayer times nor the direction I need to face to pray, nor I was allowed to perform ablution. I used to get kicked around and beaten with an electric rod. When I hear the sound of the key opening my cell, I had to sit with on my knees facing the wall with my both hands. My name became 27, the cell number, if I don’t respond to offices calling me by this number I get severe beating. I used to get different names at interrogation; they either give me feminine names or refer to me using names for the vagina or the anus.
  3. The food they served consisted of hard and rotten bread not even fit for animal consumption. The bread was so hard that caused teeth ache and contained more dust than flour. Sometimes they give very little rotten food. Their policy is not to feed prisoners but give them enough to survive, with time inmate turn into moving skeletons.
  4. I spent seven and half months at this place Organisation State Security. I spent the whole time in interrogation. I used to get interrogated twice a day, from 11 am to evening time and again from 9 pm till before dawn. The interrogation was carried out in a chamber close to my cell; one in his cell can hear cries and screams of fellow inmates.

There were between 3 or five grey hairs in my head when I was abducted, but after I got to Egypt and been subjected savage torture, all my hair in my head and face turned grey.

Here I briefly describe what went on inside the interrogation room:

  1. At first they used to curse and swear at Italy and the Italian government for granting me asylum. They told me that the Italians handed me to Egypt and no one from Italy would come to take me out of this living hell. They also ordered me to sign a document given up my political asylum in Italy.
  2. At the beginning of the interrogation a guard enters my room blindfolds my eyes and ties my hands at my back, so I cant remove during interrogation and see the face of the officer doing the interrogating and the torturing. My feet also stay tied up before I get drugged to the interrogation room where I they striped me naked before they take me to the officer who orders the guard to initiate the torture by indecently touching my sexual organs to humiliate me. This followed by savage torture which continued for the seven and half months in state security
  3. My feet hanged me from the ceiling and my head down, my hands tied to my back my feet tied up. I was subjected to electric shocks all over my body specially in my head, nipples, testicles, and penis. My testicles where also beaten with a stick and squeezed tightly if I refused to answer their questions or suspected of telling lies.
  4. They fixed my body to an iron door and on a wooden instrument they call the bride, where my hands where tied over my head from behind and my legs tied together or sometimes each leg in a different sides. The torture that takes place during this is electric shocks, beating with a shoe, cables.
  5. All forms of media were strictly prohibited as well as radio and televisions. We were not allowed to talk to the guards. Once got severe punishment when I dared to ask a guard to bring me a copy of the Koran. They did so because I dared to look through the hole and have the energy to hold and read the Koran, so they doubled the amount of torture. Even if they brought me a copy, I wouldn’t be able to read it because cell was in total darkness, but I wanted kiss it and hold it for few seconds to get some comfort that would make me forget for few seconds some of the humiliation, suffering and pain.
  6. I lost hearing in one ear after being hit so badly on it.
  7. I was tortured in what they call the mattress. They placed a wet mattress connected to an electric mains in the floor tie me up and put me over it, while one person would sit on a wooden chair places between my shoulders while at the other end someone would sit on another wooden chair between my legs. They would turn the power on so my body would rise up but the chairs prevent me from going high up. Then they turn the electricity off, this followed by electric shocks in on my testicles and penis and would curse me and say let Italy help you.
  8. They prevented me from sleeping and made me stand on my feet for long hours. I was allowed to wash my body once ever four months. I also couldn’t cut my hair or facial hair, the state I was in when they eventually release me in April 2004, reminded of how Saddam Hussein looked like when he was found at his famous pet.
  9. They made me listen for long hours to the torture of others inside the interrogation room. I could hear people’s pleas, screaming and crying, this made me breakdown and get fits and lose consciousness.
  10. They sexually assaulted me and raped me. This was the worse thing that happened to me, physical torture can be overcome with times, but the psychological impact of rape and the feeling of humiliation stay for good. I was raped twice. My hands were tied to my back and naked face down, while someone lay on top of me attempting to rape me. I screamed so hard till I lost consciousness and I don’t know if he it was for real or just threats.
  11. When they took me to State Security building in March and April 2004, they used to torture me before I and tell me to remember what I should say front of the state attorney. I was told to say that I came to Egypt at my own accords and that I purchased a ticket from Egypt Air and landed in Cairo’s international Airport and went to the security office at the airport and handed in my Italian passport, and explained my situation. Every time I go the state attorney, they questioned me about what I said there and if I said what I was ordered to say. They told me they would know if I am saying the truth or not. In fact I did what I was told to say front of the attorney general. Who never asked me there about reasons for the wounds on my face and the state of my head and facial hair?

I can write more my ordeal, all I wanted to while I was there is to die, I thought about committing suicide but there were nothing to assist me ending my life. Despite my strong religious convictions, which prevent me from even thinking about suicide but the electric shock on my head missed my brain up.

Eventually I was released after many hearings by state security court. I was immediately taken back to the building of state security where an officer warned me about revealing anything about what my abduction from Italy or the torture in Egypt.

I went back to my house and stayed there twenty days with my family. I contacted my wife and children and friend in Europe and told in details everything happened to me from the time of my abduction till my release.

I forgot to mentions that after my release I was transferred from the state security in Cairo to their branch in Alexandria, where I stayed there 3 days. An officer there interviewed and gave me they call the “scared Don’ts” and stressed to me to follow these Don'ts:

  1. Don’t go the mosques of the Gamaa Al Islmamiya or pray there
  2. Don’t make contacts with anyone in Europe, and don’t go near the Italian embassy or consulate.
  3. Am not allowed to travel indefinitely.
  4. Don’t visit any human right group or contact them
  5. Don’t preach in a mosque or teach.
  6. Don’t tell anyone what happened to me.
  7. Only leave Alexandria with special permission issued by state security. "