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Italy agent says CIA planned more than 10 renditions of Muslims

[JURIST] A senior Italian intelligence official has told prosecutors that the US Central Intelligence Agency [official website] had planned to kidnap more than 10 Muslims suspected of terrorism from Italy and elsewhere and deliver them to Middle Eastern countries for interrogation and detention, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday. Gen. Gustavo Pignero, who along with a colleague was arrested [JURIST report] on suspicion of collaborating with the CIA in the alleged extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] of the cleric Abu Omar, testified before Italian prosecutors in June that the CIA had targeted "certainly more than 10" Italian residents for rendition, as well as suspects in Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Pignero's testimony was revealed in an Italian arrest warrant for the former CIA station chief in Rome - one of at least 26 warrants issued for Americans in the Abu Omar case. Abu Omar, also known as Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr [Wikipedia profile], was allegedly taken from a Milan street in 2003 and flown to Egypt, where he was tortured. Nicolo Pollari, chief of the Italian Intelligence and Security Services (SISMI) [official website], has told legislators that the Italian intelligence agency was not involved [JURIST report] in the alleged abduction, while a lawyer representing the other intelligence official arrested with Pignero this month said that SISMI denied a CIA request to participate in the Abu Omar rendition [JURIST report] because officials believed the abudction was illegal. The Chicago Tribune has more.

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