Rendition Circuit: 4-19 February 2003
Rendition of Abu Omar, Italy to Egypt (via Germany)
On 17 February 2003, Abu Omar (Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr) was rendered from Italy, where he had been kidnapped from the streets of Milan in a joint CIA-Italian operation, to Germany. The operation was undertaken onboard a US military aircraft, which flew Omar from the US airbase at Aviano to the US airbase at Ramstein. From Ramstein, Omar was transferred onto a private Gulfstream IV aircraft, with registration number N85VM, which was under contract with the CIA to perform rendition operations. He was flown from Germany to Egypt, where he was held and tortured for a total of four years.
N85VM, operated by Richmor Aviation and under contract with the CIA to perform rendition operations and other support flights, was on the ground at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD) on 4 February 2003, having just undertaken a round trip from the US to Guantanamo Bay. It left Washington in the early hours of 4 February, and flew cross-Atlantic, landing at Ramstein Airbase (ETAR) mid-morning. Unusually, it then appears to have stayed on the ground at Ramstein for almost two weeks. Then, on 17 February, the same day as Abu Omar was kidnapped in Milan and rendered to Ramstein, the aircraft took off and flew direct to Cairo (HECA), landing at 22:32 GMT.
Abu Omar was taken off the aircraft in Cairo, and spent the next four years in Egyptian custody, where he was repeatedly beaten, electrocuted and raped. N85VM, meanwhile, left Cairo in the early hours of 18 February and flew to Shannon, Ireland (EINN), landing just before 6am. It then stayed on the ground until the afternoon, at which point it returned to Washington, and then to its home base of Columbia County Airport (K1B1), landing just after midnight on 19 February 2003.
N85VM was operated for this circuit by Richmor Aviation, which invoiced the broker SportsFlight Air on 19 February 2003 for $138,389.70. This figure included 118,090 for 24.1 hours of flying time, as well as catering, landing fees and de-icing at Washington.