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CIA tortured top al Qaeda terror detainee at secret location

[JURIST] CIA operatives taking over the interrogation of captured top al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah [BBC News backgrounder] from FBI agents in 2002 had him stripped, exposed to extreme cold and subjected to loud rock music in an effort to extract sensitive information, the New York Times reported Sunday. The interrogation of Zubaydah at a secret safe-house in Thailand prompted tension between the two agencies and laid the foundation for the CIA secret prisons system [JURIST news archive], the existence which was only disclosed by President Bush [JURIST news archive] last week.

The Times says FBI [official website] officials initially used standard interrogation tactics to get information from Zubaydah when CIA [official website] operatives presented a classified directive signed by President Bush on Sept. 17, 2001, which authorized the CIA to detain and interrogate prisoners using more aggressive techniques. It's unclear whether the harsher tactics resulted in more useful information or if the standard measures were working. Bush denied having authorized torture in his Wednesday speech. AFP has more.

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