New evidence culled from a court case involving CIA contractors has revealed flight paths through Djibouti that appear to indicate the countryâ€™s role as a hub of the CIAâ€™s rendition network in Africa, according to documents released by the U.K.-based human rights group Reprieve and New York Universityâ€™s Global Justice Clinic.
The documents could support the case of Mohammad al-Asad, a former CIA detainee who is suing the government of Djibouti for its alleged role in hosting CIA â€śblack sitesâ€ť â€“ specifically the one where he says he was detained and tortured for two weeks between Dec. 2003 and Jan. 2004. A Senate investigation into the agencyâ€™s â€śdetention and interrogation programâ€ť had previously confirmed that several individuals had in fact been detained in Djibouti, according to two officials who read the still-classified report and who spoke to Al Jazeera.
Investigators behind the document release combed through contracts, invoices and letters put into evidence for a court case â€“ which involved CIA contractors and was separate from the Djibouti allegations â€“ and pieced together a series of rendition circuits, or flight paths, between 2003 and 2004. They include legs through Djibouti â€“ even though the Horn of Africa did not appear to be a convenient stopover between the United States and Afghanistan, the circuits' endpoints.
â€śDjibouti was not on the way, it was a destination,â€ť said Margaret Satterthwaite, al-Asad's attorney and a professor at the Global Justice Clinic. â€śThatâ€™s kind of a tell-tale sign of a rendition circuit.â€ť
The evidence also implicated private companies â€“ including Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), DynCorp Systems and Solutions (which was purchased by CSC in 2003), Richmor Aviation and First Flight â€“ in the Africa rendition program for the first time.