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Rendition Circuit: 16-17 February 2005

 

Possible Rendition of 'High-Value Detainees', Morocco, Jordan and Lithuania

On 17 February 2005, a Boeing 727 with registration number N724CL flew between known secret prison destinations in Morocco and Lithuania, the day before a second aircraft - a Boeing 737 with registration number N787WH - made the same journey (stopping in Romania en route). Both of these flights were likely carrying 'High Value Detainees' (HVDs) for continued detention and interrogation in Eastern Europe, and were chartered by the CIA through its contract with Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). In particular, Abu Zubaydah's legal team believes that he was onboard one or other of these flights, and was taken for further secret detention in Lithuania throughout 2005 and early 2006.

N724CL is owned and operated by Clay Lacy Aviation. Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. provided trip planning services for this circuit, filing flight plans and arranging other logistical details.

 

 

Analysis

N724CL took off from Santa Maria Airport in the Azores (LPAZ) midmorning on 16 February 2005, flying to Gran Canaria Airport (GCLP), where it stayed for around 11 hours. In the early hours of 17 February, it then flew to Rabat, Morocco (GMME) where it stayed for just over an hour, possibly while one or more HVDs (maybe Abu Zubaydah) were loaded on board. It then flew direct to Amman, Jordan (OJAM), stopped for six hours, then took off in the afternoon flying to Vilnius, Lithuania (EYVI). Information released by the Lithuanian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Reprieve and Access Info Europe, as well as a ground handling form recovered from Vilnius International Airport, document the aircraft landing in Vilnius just after 6pm GMT, and taking off just after 7.30pm, flying to BIKF landing just before midnight. While on the ground in Lithuania, any detainees on board the flight would have been offloaded and taken to the secret prison in Antaviliai, about 15 miles from Vilnius.

 

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