British intelligence agencies were involved in the rendition, torture and mistreatment of terror suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, two new reports have revealed.
The reports, released by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee on Thursday, amount to some of the heaviest scrutiny of British intelligence agencies in recent times.
Although the investigation in the “Detainee Mistreatment and Rendition: 2001-2010” report did not find “any evidence indicating that U.K. Agency officers or Defence Intelligence personnel directly carried out physical mistreatment of detainees,” it reveals how, in some instances, British intelligence was directly involved in the mistreatment of detainees.
“We have also found what we consider to constitute evidence of two cases in which U.K. personnel were directly involved in detainee mistreatment administered by others. This is completely unacceptable,” it added.
The report also details a list of concerns in which British intelligence were aware of a high level of mistreatment taking place and yet did not take action regarding such cases.
“We have found 13 incidents recorded where it appears that U.K. personnel witnessed at first hand a detainee being mistreated by others – such that it must have caused alarm and should have led to action,” the report said regarding one incident.
The investigation also found that there were “25 incidents recorded where U.K. personnel were told by detainees that they had been mistreated by others.” However, the responsibility for investigating such cases were “not consistent,” it said.
There were also 128 incidents where British intelligence were also notified by other foreign agencies of instances where detainees were mistreated. However, it is unknown whether these were investigated or not.
Furthermore, there were “198 cases recorded where U.K. personnel received intelligence from liaison services obtained from detainees whom they knew had been mistreated.”
In a section of the report titled, “Did the Agencies turn a blind eye?” the report admits that “it is undeniable that the U.K. Agencies at Head Office level were aware of reports that some detainees held by the U.S. had been mistreated,” adding that there were “8 cases in 2002 alone of officers witnessing or hearing about mistreatment.”
The report points to a high level of tolerance in the U.K. intelligence services for the torture and mistreatment of terror suspects and detainees and although British personnel were not directly involved, there was awareness and knowledge of the mistreatment taking place under U.S. custody.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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