Human Rights Watch has uncovered hundreds of letters in the Libyan foreign ministry proving that Gaddafi’s government directly aided the extraordinary rendition program carried out by the CIA and the MI6 in Britain after the 9/11 attacks. The documents expose how the CIA rendered suspects to Libyan authorities knowing they would be tortured. One of the most prominent suspects rendered to Libya was an Islamic militant named Abdelhakim Belhaj, who is now the military commander for the Libyan rebels. At the time of his capture in 2004, Belhaj was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a group that had ties to al-Qaeda. Peter Bouckaert is the emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.
Peter Bouckaert: "Our concern is that when these people were handed over to the Libyan security, they were tortured, and the CIA knew what would happen when they sent people like Abdulhakim into the hands of the Libyan security services. We must remember that these are Islamic militants who were first in the hands of the CIA. So if they wanted to interrogate them themselves, they could have done so. But instead, they sent them to a security service which, even in the U.S. State Department’s own public reporting, is known for its torture and abuse."
Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said the letters from the CIA and MI6 were found in the offices of the former head of Libyan intelligence director, Musa Kusa.
Peter Bouckaert: "What’s remarkable is, first of all, the frankness of these files, they sent questions to the Libyan security services to ask to the suspects they have rendered, but also the very friendly tone. They thank Musa Kusa for the crate of oranges and dates that he sent back with the intelligence agent who came to visit. And all of the—these are letters, 'Dear Musa' letters, to a man who is infamous in Libya for his involvement in repression. Musa Kusa was Gaddafi’s enforcer, together with Senussi, the intelligence chief."