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MI5 'Used Muslim 007' to Turn British Torture Victim in Moroccan Prison
LONDON - British security agents sent an undercover mole dubbed the ‘Muslim 007’ to convince Al Qaeda suspect Binyam Mohamed to turn informant if he wanted his torture to end, it was claimed last night.
The new allegations suggest Britain’s involvement in the ‘medieval’ treatment of the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner goes much deeper than previously thought.
Ministers and MI5 have insisted they had no idea that Mohamed was the subject of an ‘extraordinary rendition’ to Morocco, nor that he was tortured there on the orders of the CIA.
However, last night Mohamed told how the mole, known only as Informant A, tried to persuade him that giving intelligence to the British would end his ordeal – suggesting MI5 agents were complicit in his treatment.
Mohamed said that his torturers brought the mole, a UK citizen of Moroccan descent, to see him in early September 2002, nearly two months after he arrived in Morocco, where he had been subjected to horrific abuse, including the cutting of his genitals with a scalpel.
‘It was one of my lowest points,’ he said. ‘The really bad stuff had already been going on for weeks. I thought he was a friendly face who might get the British to help me – but it was just another way of putting on pressure.’
Mohamed’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, added: ‘The Moroccans told Mohamed that Informant A was working with the British Government and pressed Mr Mohamed to do the same if he wanted to end his torture.’
Mr Stafford Smith has written to Gordon Brown demanding an immediate inquiry, calling on the Government to come clean about British involvement in the case and ‘quit working with the US to hide evidence of criminal acts’.
The official line is that the British authorities had no idea that Mohamed was taken to Morocco three months after his capture in Pakistan in April 2002 – and became aware of him again only when he arrived at Guantanamo Bay more than two years later.
Mr Stafford Smith’s letter says: ‘The suggestion that British officials simply lost track of Mohamed for more than two years and did not know that he had been rendered to Morocco for torture is implausible.
‘They had their own agent in Morocco who had seen Mohamed there and that person was back in the UK while the razor blades were still being taken to Mohamed’s genitals.’
Mohamed told Mr Stafford Smith about Informant A when they first met in Guantanamo four years ago but it is only recently that new sources have come forward to support his account.
One is Tarek Dergoul, who was held at a US base in Afghanistan in 2002 at the same time as Informant A.
He said yesterday: ‘The fact he’d agreed to become a grass was all over the jail. One of the guards was saying, “We’ve got another 007.”’
Another is Shaker Aamer, a British-resident Saudi, who was captured with Informant A. He told Mr Stafford Smith that although he was flown to Guantanamo, where he is still a prisoner, Informant A was taken elsewhere by the British.
A third source said Informant A had been allowed to return to London after his capture, despite his suspected links to the Taliban and his militant views.
Informant A knew Mohamed in London and helped him plan the fateful journey in the spring of 2001 that took him first to Pakistan, then to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
After Mohamed had fled the conflict, the mole was wounded fighting alongside Osama Bin Laden in the caves of Tora Bora. Months after that, Mohamed saw Informant A again in Pakistan shortly before both men were separately captured.
After his release from Guantanamo earlier this year, Mohamed told The Mail on Sunday he was interrogated by MI5 in Pakistan after being beaten and hung by his wrists. Later he suffered ‘medieval’ tortures in Morocco.
The Americans were convinced he was planning to build a ‘dirty’ radioactive bomb and detonate it in New York – an allegation that has now been abandoned.
The British Government is currently fighting a legal battle to keep secret a summary of CIA documents that describe Mohamed’s treatment.
On Friday, Foreign Secretary David Miliband signed a new demand for a gagging order, arguing that publication of the High Court judges’ summary would cause irreparable harm to Britain’s relationship with America.