After months of international speculation, the President of the United States has publicly acknowledged that the CIA has operated a secret detention programme for terrorist suspects overseas. George W Bush would not say where the secret prisons have been located, but there have been reports of facilities in Eastern Europe.
“In some cases, we determined that the individuals we have captured posed a significant threat, or may have intelligence that we or our allies need to prevent further attacks.” he told reporters at the White House.
Despite stiff criticism of the rendition system by human rights groups, Bush strongly defended the covert detention and questioning of terrorism suspects, insisting they are treated humanely and not tortured.The US President announced that the last 14 suspects held by the CIA have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay for prosecution.
Among the group, it is claimed, is the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, along with two other alleged Al Qaeda senior operatives.