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Rendition Circuit: 6-13 February 2003


Rendition of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Morocco to Poland


Between 6-13 February 2003, the CIA-owned rendition aircraft with registration N379P flew a global circuit which incorporated a flight between two secret prison destinations, Morocco and Poland, and a further flight between Egypt and Afghanistan. Several aspects of this circuit bear the hallmarks of a detainee transfer operation. The circuit was organised by Jeppesen Dataplan, a company involved in the logistical aspects of multiple rendition flights. Furthermore, flight data shows that Jeppesen filed a 'dummy flight plan' from Morocco in an attempt to disguise the true destination of the flight (by giving Warsaw as the destination whereas in fact Szymany - the airport servicing the secret prison in Poland - was the actual destination). After leaving Poland, the aircraft stopped over for 36 hours in Larnaca, Cyprus, a place used by successive rendition crews for 'rest and relaxation' after detainee transfer operations, before flying to Egypt and then Afghanistan, potentially incorporating a second detainee transfer.

Ramzi bin al-Shibh was onboard the flight from Morocco, where he had been transferred in September 2002. The SSCI report states that bin al-Shibh was rendered from foreign custody (i.e., Morocco) to DETENTION SITE BLUE (in Poland) on [redacted] February 2003. The redaction is for a single digit, and therefore matches with this circuit.





N379P left its home base of Johnston County Airport (KJNX) in the evening of 6 February 2003, flying to Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD). There it stayed overnight, before flying in the early afternoon of 7 February direct to Rabat, Morocco (GMME), landing in the evening. While on the ground in Morocco, it is likely that one or more detainees - including bin al-Shibh - were loaded onboard.

Flight data released by the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency documents the filing by Jeppesen Dataplan at 05:14 on 7 February of a 'dummy flight plan', alerting air traffic authorities that N379P would be leaving Rabat at 21:30 that day and flying to Warsaw, Poland (EPWA). Two minutes later, at 05:16, Jeppesen filed a second dummy plan, showing that the aircraft would be leaving Warsaw at 03:00 on 8 February and flying to Larnaca, Cyprus (LCLK).

Landing records from Szymany Airport (EPSY), however, document N379P entering Polish airspace at 00:27 on 8 February, en route from Rabat to Warsaw as per the flight plan, but actually landing at Szymany at 01:00. The aircraft remained on the ground for just under an hour, before taking off at 01:51 and flying to Larnaca, leaving Polish airspace at 02:21. A further letter from the Polish Border Guard Office documents the flight into Szymany as carrying 7 passengers and 4 crew, but leaving only with 4 passengers and 4 crew.

N379P stopped off in Larnaca for over 24 hours, likely while the crew had some 'rest and relaxation'. In the evening of 9 February, it flew to Cairo, Egypt (HECA), stopping briefly before flying direct to Kabul, Afghanistan (OAKB). At that point the aircraft disappears from our records. However, two days later, on 11 February, it left Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UTTT), flying to Glasgow International Airport (EGPF) where it stopped overnight before heading back to Washington and then Johnston County, arriving just after midnight on 13 February 2003.


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