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Rendition Circuit: 22-26 May 2002

 

Rendition of Abou Elkassim Britel, Pakistan to Morocco

 

On 24-25 May 2002, Abou Elkassim Britel was rendered, along with at least one other detainee, from Pakistan to Morocco. They were flown in the CIA-owned renditions aircraft N379P, a Gulfstream V jet operated by the CIA shell company Premier Executive Transport Service. Flight plans for this rendition circuit were submitted to air traffic services by Jeppesen Dataplan (originator code: KSFOXLDI), a subsidiary of Boeing, Inc. which provided trip planning to multiple renditions flights.

 

 

Analysis

 

N379P left its home base of Johnston County Airport (KJNX) late in the evening of 22 May 2002, flying to Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). After stopping for just under two hours, the aircraft left Washington in the early hours of 23 May, and flew direct to Frankfurt, Germany (EDDF), where it touched down for 2.5 hours. Just after 10am on 23 May, N379P flew from Frankfurt to Dubai International Airport, landing late afternoon. The aircraft then disappears from the record, but appears again on 24 May in Islamabad, Pakistan, at either Benazir Bhutto International Airport or the Pakistan Air Force Base Chakala/Nur Khan, which shares the same grounds and airport code as the civilian airport (OPRN).

Abou Elkassim Britel has testified that he was captured on 10 March 2002 in Lahore, Pakistan, and detained and tortured by Pakistani forces. He was then moved to the headquarters of the ISI in Islamabad on 5 May 2002, where he was interrogated on multiple occasions by US officials. As told by Britel:

'On the night of May 24, 2002, I was handcuffed, blindfolded, and taken by car to an airport. About one half hour thereafter, I was grabbed around the neck from behind so tightly I thought I would suffocate. I was forced into what seemed to me to be a small bathroom where my clothes were sliced off me. My blindfold was then removed and I saw four or five men dressed in black from head to toe, with only their eyes showing. I was photographed, had a diaper put on me, and was dressed in a torn t-shirt. I was again blindfolded and placed in a metallic slip and chained to the shackles that bound my hands and feet.

'I was then dragged on board a small aircraft and forced onto my back. Shortly thereafter, I heard a second prisoner being brought on board. I could tell by his accent that he was not Moroccan. I believe that he was a prisoner because he sounded wounded or ill and expressed pain and discomfort throughout the duration of the flight. I was instructed not to move, and when I did I was hit or kicked. My back began to hurt during the flight and I asked permission to change positions. My request was refused and instead I had my mouth taped shut...'

Flight records show that N379P left Islamabad at bout 10pm GMT on 24 May, and flew direct to Rabat, Morocco (GMME), landing just before 07:30 GMT the next morning. The flight plans filed by Jeppesen with Eurocontrol also use the special designation for the flight STS/STATE, which means that it needs to be considered a US Government flight and prioritised as such. Once in Morocco, Britel says that he (and presumably the other detainee) were taken off the aircraft. Britel was detained and tortured in Moroccan prisons for over four years. N379P, meanwhile, stayed on the ground for less than an hour before flying to Porto, Portugal (LPPR), again flying under STS/STATE. In Porto, it stopped for 24 hours presumably for some rest and relaxation for the rendition crew. In the morning of 26 May, N379P flew back to Washington, and then back to Johnston County, arriving late afternoon on 26 May 2002.

 

Rendition Research Team - © University of Kent
University of Westminster University of Kent E.S.R.C