March 5, 2006
This is for Ed Hodges, Peregrine International
I have some information about Jamaat ul-Fuqra -- I am the blogger who posted the blog entry you linked to.
I can't post all the information I have, because my wife and I are frightened for our safety.
But CP, at "The Politics of CP", has posted some of the things we can't. He's done an excellent investigative job with JF. His blog is:
I hope this is of some use.
Gates of Vienna
Cryptome forwarded the messsage to Ed Hodges (Pegasus3[at]sbcglobal.net).
4 March 2006. Comments and pointers invited; send to .
Domestic rendition allegations:
Prisoner abuse allegations:
There are several news reports of persons jailed in the US for extended periods without substantiation of terrorist charges against them. A New York Times editorial about one and a news report below.
For a remarkable vigilante pursuit of Jamaat el-Fuqra see:
From Intel Forum mail list 26 February 2006:
We have found some security firms in New York who are owned and operated as well as associated with the Jamaat el-Fuqra, a known terrorist organization with many compounds in the US. One known training center in the Catskills and many compounds in Canada. Anyone having solid information concerning this group please reply to me privately if you wish.
[Link added to message by Cryptome]
From: John Young
Subject: Domestic Rendition
Date: 27 Feb 2006
There are reports of US domestic rendition of suspected terrorists and others, in part by authorities, in part by vigilantes who report suspects to the authorities and who may illegaly hold suspects while awaiting official action.
There are a few allegations of domestic rendition on the Internet, and some argue that treatment of terrorism suspects in federal prisons constitute domestic rendition.
We note the message posted here recently by Peregrine, and in response ask for other leads and/or comments on rendition within the US by any party.
This would be for publication on Cryptome.org.
Cc: John Young
Subject: RE: Domestic Rendition
Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2006 10:01:45 -0500
Are you working for yourself or the ACLU or informations for Al Qaeda?
Have you done anything to combat terrorism?
To: John Young
Subject: RE: [Intelforum] Domestic Rendition
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2006 13:41:11 -0600
There is no such thing as "domestic rendition;" it does not exist!
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2006 12:20:49 -0500
Here are some thoughts that I have about rendition programs. Since international terrorism is a transnational enemy with no overt nation-state alignment, one of the mechanisms to combat it then should be rendition.
In war, are prisoners of war taken into a form of rendition? Of course they are. Rendition serves many purposes as a tactic of war. A captured enemy soldier is isolated by rank and position, interrogated for information about the military objectives of the unit that they served in at the time and then the captured enemy combatant is tucked away for the duration of the war to keep them safe until the war is over. Rendition is nothing new and is a human rights responsibility under the Laws of War as defined by the United Nations.
That said, in the War on Terrorism, rendition has been redefined by individuals and special interest organizations as a tactic that is counter to the ideals of democracy and America's sovereign right to self-defense. That confusion has bubbled to the surface because of the fact that terrorists do not claim nation-state attachment. It is much easier to persuade political opponents of all stripes who dislike the Bush Administration to side with transnational terrorist combatants and criticize rendition efforts because opponents of the current administration define the rendered as human beings that are somehow stripped of their human rights by American agents.
If this war involved a nation-state or collective of nation-states against the United States, prisoners of war would be subjected to rendition and the American people would celebrate it. Since this war is murky and involves a transnational enemy with no overt nation-state alignment, rendition efforts become politically cloudy and provide opponents with the only critique available to them -- criticizing the tactics the United States uses in this war.
International law has not adequately addressed the disposition of captured terrorist combatants. The disposition of captured enemy combatants that wear uniforms and have nation-state alignment is never an issue. The United Nations could not agree to a very basic definition of terrorism last June. Is it possible for the UN to agree on a process of rendition involving terrorists and their sponsors? Doubtful. Does that make U.S. rendition efforts illegal? No.
The capture of terrorist combatants, to me, is no different than the capture of enemy combatants during any form of conventional war and in conventional wars prisoners of war are treated humanely and protected for the duration of the conflict. Those prisoners of war in conventional wars recognize however that once they are captured they are no longer a resource for the armies that they once served. That is why rendition is a very important legal tool in international law between sovereign states that wage war and all sovereign states understand the validity and purpose of prisoner of war rendition.
Now, if we can just get political opponents of the Bush Administration to recognize the utility of such programs and how they are no different than those used in other wars that America has fought, it would go a long way in correcting the fallacious critiques of tactics the United States uses as we fight the War on Terrorism. In sum, there may be no such thing as 'domestic rendition', since the full weight of truth demands that it be known as 'transnational rendition' to directly reflect transnational terrorism.
New York Times Editorial
A Judicial Green Light for Torture
Published: February 26, 2006
The administration's tendency to dodge accountability for lawless actions by resorting to secrecy and claims of national security is on sharp display in the case of a Syrian-born Canadian, Maher Arar, who spent months under torture because of United States action. A federal trial judge in Brooklyn has refused to stand up to the executive branch, in a decision that is both chilling and ripe for prompt overturning.
Mr. Arar, a 35-year-old software engineer whose case has been detailed in a pair of columns by Bob Herbert, was detained at Kennedy Airport in 2002 while on his way home from a family vacation. He was held in solitary confinement in a Brooklyn detention center and interrogated without proper access to legal counsel. Finally, he was shipped off to a Syrian prison. There, he was held for 10 months in an underground rat-infested dungeon and brutally tortured because officials suspected that he was a member of Al Qaeda. All this was part of a morally and legally unsupportable United States practice known as "extraordinary rendition," in which the federal government outsources interrogations to regimes known to use torture and lacking fundamental human rights protections.
The maltreatment of Mr. Arar would be reprehensible and illegal under the United States Constitution and applicable treaties even had the suspicions of terrorist involvement proven true. But no link to any terrorist organization or activity emerged, which is why the Syrians eventually released him. Mr. Arar then sued for damages.
The judge in the case, David Trager of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, did not dispute that United States officials had reason to know that Mr. Arar faced a likelihood of torture in Syria. But he took the rare step of blocking the lawsuit entirely, saying that the use of torture in rendition cases is a foreign policy question not appropriate for court review, and that going forward would mean disclosing state secrets.
It is hard to see why resolving Mr. Arar's case would necessitate the revelation of privileged material. Moreover, as the Supreme Court made clear in a pair of 2004 decisions rebuking the government for its policies of holding foreign terrorism suspects in an indefinite legal limbo in Guantánamo and elsewhere, even during the war on terror, the government's actions are subject to court review and must adhere to the rule of law.
With the Bush administration claiming imperial powers to detain, spy on and even torture people, and the Republican Congress stuck largely in enabling mode, the role of judges in checking executive branch excesses becomes all the more crucial. If the courts collapse when confronted with spurious government claims about the needs of national security, so will basic American liberties.
Published on Saturday, May 15, 2004 by the Boulder Daily Camera (Colorado)
Abuses in Iraq and Brooklyn
by Christopher Brauchli
One picture is worth a thousand words.
- Fred Barnard, Printer's Ink
It's hardly the president's fault. As he himself has said, he doesn't read newspapers. He relies on his staff to tell him what's going on.
The Pentagon was in possession of the Taguba report detailing the abuse of Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib prison in February. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, White House officials told a reporter that: "the abuse of Iraqi prisoners sparked so much concern that President Bush was told about an investigation during the winter holidays." It didn't spoil his Christmas. It didn't even seem to have made an impression. Pictures make more of an impression on Mr. Bush than do words.
At a press conference following the pictures' release, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the president was as surprised as everyone else by the report's findings. He explained that the president hadn't seen the pictures until they were published and wasn't aware of the Pentagon's internal report completed in February until the preceding week.
To assuage the bruised feelings of the Arab world, Mr. Bush appeared on assorted television stations around the world making reassuring comments. Among other things he said that the action portrayed in the photos "does not represent the America that I know. Our citizens in America are appalled by what they saw, just like people in the Middle East are appalled. We share the same deep concerns. And we will find the truth, we will fully investigate." Were he a reader of newspapers he might have run across a story about a lawsuit that was filed only days before news of Iraqi prisoner mistreatment surfaced.
Javaid Iqbal, a Pakistani immigrant, and Ehab Elmaghraby, an Egyptian immigrant, filed a lawsuit on May 3 in which they described the conditions of their incarceration in the Brooklyn Detention Center following 9/11. A reader would have been forgiven for thinking the prison described was in Iraq and not in Brooklyn. The two men were picked up shortly after 9/11 and held for 2 1/2 years while John Ashcroft tried to figure out if they were terrorists. They weren't. Mr. Iqbal pled guilty to having false papers and bogus checks and Mr. Elmaghraby pled guilty to credit card fraud. Both men were deported.
The civil complaint alleges that the men were held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day in the maximum-security unit of the Brooklyn Federal Detention Center, were slammed into walls, dragged across the floor in shackles, manacled, kicked and punched until they bled, cursed at, called "Muslim bastards" and subject to body cavity searches. Mr. Elmaghraby alleges that a flashlight was inserted into his rectum, causing him to bleed. He was forced to walk naked in front of one of the guard's female co-workers. During part of his confinement Mr. Elmaghraby was given no blankets, mattress or toilet paper and placed in a tiny cell lighted 24 hours a day. Mr. Iqbal said on rainy cold days he was left outdoors without shoes or jacket and upon being returned wet to his cell the air conditioning was turned on.
A civil complaint is nothing more than allegations. This detention center, however, was cited by the Justice Department's inspector general in 2003 for physical abuse of its denizens. He issued two reports harshly critical of the center. He described a pattern of mistreatment and obtained videotapes showing officers brutalizing inmates, many of whom were 9/11 suspects who were never charged.
One of the guards targeted in the suit is Raymond Cotton, who was a key figure in a Brooklyn Detention Center scandal some years earlier. Describing Mr. Cotton, Stephen Grogan, the lead federal investigator at the time, said of Mr. Cotton: [T]his guy was involved in criminal activity and should no longer have been an employee of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. All of that evidence was turned over to them. They should have taken administrative action, and if they had, maybe Cotton would not be involved in this current complaint." They didn't and in the complaint he is described as one of the principal actors who brutalized the two men. Mr. Ashcroft has decided not to prosecute anyone involved in the earlier scandal notwithstanding the inspector general's report.
Speaking to the Arab nations about the prisoner abuse, Mr. Bush said: "It's a matter that reflects badly on my country." He was thinking of Iraq. He would have referred to Brooklyn as well, had the inspector general or the lawyers in the more recent case given him pictures.
Christopher Brauchli is a Boulder lawyer and and writes a weekly column for the Knight Ridder news service. He can be reached at brauchli.56[at]post.harvard.edu