P. Threatened Transfer to Another Country
Several FBI agents told the OIG that they had information about threats to send detainees to another country for detention or more aggressive interrogation. According to the Church Report, threat of transfer to another country was never specifically listed as a pre-approved interrogation technique under military policy for GTMO, and beginning in January 2003 prior notice to the Secretary of Defense was required before using it. The Church investigators identified one incident involving the use of this technique in a June 2003 interrogation of a high value detainee. Church Report at 168-69, 173.
SSA Lyle stated in his OIG survey response that military interrogators threatened Al-Qahtani using this technique.151 Lyle said that at some point during the military's interrogation of Al-Qahtani at Camp X-Ray military interrogators threatened to send him to another country. Lyle believes that the country they threatened him with was Jordan. Lyle paraphrased what the interrogators said to Al-Qahtani as "we are going to send you to a place where the people aren't as nice as we are."
An SSA who served at GTMO in 2002 told the OIG that he was present at a GTMO staff meeting where this technique was discussed concerning AI-Qahtani and other detainees. The SSA said that the military wanted to handcuff AI-Qahtani, put a hood over his head, and fly him around in a helicopter and then an airplane. The plan was to return Al-Qahtani to GTMO but completely isolate him so that he would believe he was somewhere else. The agent said the goal was to make Al-Qahtani believe that they were just about to turn him over to officials from another country. We believe that this SSA may have in fact have been referring to interrogation plan for Slahi (#760) rather than Al-Qahtani. This plan is discussed in Section XV of Chapter Five. The SSA said that after he objected to this plan, he was not invited to any more staff meetings.
Another FBI agent who served at GTMO from December 2003 until September 2004 said that some detainees at GTMO were threatened with the prospect of being returned to their home countries which could go badly for the detainee. She indicated that this could be threatening to some detainees depending on where they were from, and that she probably used this technique herself. She stated that she did not consider this a threat because it was a real possibility for some of the detainees. As an example, she said that the Russian detainees did everything they could to be as valuable as possible in order to avoid returning to Russia. However, the agent stated that eventually these detainees were repatriated to Russia despite their cooperation.
Another FBI agent stated in his survey response that he asked certain uncooperative detainees if they would like to be sent back to their home countries for interrogation. He stated that some of the detainees may have perceived this as a threat and that some of them acknowledged that they were being treated better at GMTO [sic] than they would be in their home countries.
Other agents reported that they heard about the use of this technique from others. One agent reported that he heard that some detainees were threatened with being sent to Israel for interrogation. In addition, a Detective from the Phoenix Police Department who was deployed to GTMO as part of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force stated in his survey response that a New York City Detective posed as an Egyptian Intelligence Officer, and the detainee involved was told that he would go back to Egypt with this Intelligence Officer unless he was cooperative.
151 Lyle is a pseudonym.
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