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21 October 2012. Update Google Earth and add images.

7 July 2008

Al Qaeda's Desert Inn

Hard Time

Posted 5/25/03

Al Jafr Prison doesn't appear on maps of Jordan. There are no photographs of the place available from the world's news services. The remote prison appears out of the southern desert as if some medieval apparition, with two towers anchoring a circular stone wall. Barbed wire is everywhere. The notorious prison was closed in the 1970s, but it reopened in the 1990s as a maximum security jail. "This is a prison," a Jordanian intelligence officer explains bluntly, "for terrorist detainees."

It's also the place where the CIA has used a secret interrogation center since 9/11, U.S. News has learned. As many as 100 al Qaeda prisoners have passed through al Jafr, according to U.S. and Jordanian intelligence sources. Among them are some of the biggest catches in the war on terror: al Qaeda operations head Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Persian Gulf chief Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri. Most stay just a few days before being shipped out to longer-term facilities.

Al Jafr Prison

Jordan acts as hub for U.S. renditions

By William Fisher
Friday, 04.11.2008, 03:40pm

NEW YORK (IPS) — Jordan, often described in the mainstream press as the most moderate country in the Arab Middle East, was the first to receive prisoners "as a true proxy jailer for the CIA" and has received more victims of "extraordinary rendition" than any other country in the world, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Jordan: Rampant Beatings in Prisons Go Unpunished

Human Rights Watch Concludes Visit to Prisons, Intelligence Detention Center

Amman, August 30, 2007

In December 2006, the government took an encouraging step by shutting down the al-Jafr prison, which was one of the country’s most notorious prisons for beatings and other abuse.

Jordanian Al Jafr Prison