CIA interrogators threatened to kill and rape relatives of detainees, including the September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a declassified report shows.
A CIA interrogator threatened to kill the children of the the September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed if al-Qa’eda attacked the US again, according to a declassified report. Photo: AP
The report, released on Monday by the US Justice Department, said that a CIA interrogator told Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that if any other attacks happened in the United States, “We’re going to kill your children”.
Another interrogator allegedly tried to convince a detainee that his mother would be sexually assaulted in front of him. The interrogator later denied making the threat.
The report, written in 2004, was made public after a legal petition by the American Council for Civil Liberties. It also reportedly disclosed how interrogators conducted mock executions and threatened a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole with a gun and a power drill.
“Ten years from now we’re going to be sorry we’re doing this [but] it has to be done,” one unidentified CIA officer said in the report, predicting that interrogators would someday have to appear in court to answer for such tactics.
It was released as the government launched a criminal investigation into the spy agency’s “unauthorized, improvised, inhumane” practices in the wake of the 2001 al-Qaeda attacks on the US, and as President Barack Obama ordered the creation of a new unit for interrogating terrorist suspects, taking responsibility away from the CIA.
Related article: ‘Inhumane’ CIA terror tactics spur criminal probe
The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group will answer to the White House and be run by FBI officials from the bureau’s Washington headquarters. It will follow guidelines set by the US army’s field manual, which conforms to international law.