Italy warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives

December 23rd, 2005  

Topic: Italy warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives

Friday, December 23, 2005; Posted: 1:57 p.m. EST (18:57 GMT)

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- An Italian judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA agents alleged to have kidnapped an Egyptian-born Muslim cleric in Milan in 2003, a prosecutor said Friday.

The warrants make it legal for the 22 to be arrested in any of the European Union's member nations.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants were issued December 20.

The 22 were already facing arrest warrants in Italy, and are considered fugitives.

Prosecutors have asked Justice Minister Roberto Castelli to call on the United States to extradite the 22. Castelli has not done so, and has said he needs more information about the allegations.

The case revolves around the alleged abduction of Osama Nasr Mostafa Hassan, also known as Abu Omar, in February 2003.

At the time of his disappearance, Milan prosecutors were investigating him for alleged links to terrorism.

Prosecutors allege that a CIA team seized him, flew him to Egypt, and used torture as part of an interrogation there.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi summoned U.S. Ambassador Mel Sembler for an explanation. No details of their meeting were released.

Former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer said the Italian military secret service had approved the operation, and CIA sources who refused to be named told CNN that the agency had briefed and sought approval from its Italian counterpart for such an abduction.

But the Italian government vigorously denied having authorized Hassan's kidnapping, which it called illegal.
December 24th, 2005  
Hmmm, very interseting. Better keep our eye on this, see how it turns out
December 24th, 2005  
This sounds like a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. And some serious political grandstanding.
December 24th, 2005  
thats quite interesting indeed..

Keep us posted on this issue Grimnar. Good job
December 28th, 2005  
WTF!? Italy is trying to arrest members of the CIA for "kidnapping" (capturing) a terrorist? That is ****ed up.
December 29th, 2005  
Italian Guy
Go through many of my posts and see how often I have said most of our prosecutors and judges are extreme leftist. They really are. You happen to find confirmations like this, at times.
December 29th, 2005  
The person taking dictation for the Judge is probably a CIA operative, in fact, probably one of the 22.
December 29th, 2005  
It would seem that the Chicago Tribune were none too impressed either.

Rule 1. Don't get caught.
Rule 2. If caught deny everything.
Rule 3. Make counter accusations.
Rule 4. As a last resort, deny the existence of Italy.

CIA's bungled Italy job
Sloppy use of cell phones, other missteps help police unravel cleric's 2003 abduction

By John Crewdson
Tribune senior correspondent
Published December 25, 2005

MILAN, Italy -- The trick is known to just about every two-bit crook in the cellular age: If you don't want the cops to know where you are, take the battery out of your cell phone when it's not in use.

Had that trick been taught at the CIA's rural Virginia training school for covert operatives, the Bush administration might have avoided much of the current crisis in Europe over the practice the CIA calls "rendition," and CIA Director Porter Goss might not have ordered a sweeping review of the agency's field operations.,1,7824008.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true
December 30th, 2005  
Whispering Death
You're telling me the CIA actually screw things up? I never would have imagined they'd be incompetent since... uh... didn't they do something right back in the 60s?

By the way, not a huge sanction there. You get to abduct a citizen in his own country and your punnishment is you can't have cheese and wine in Milan anymore.
December 30th, 2005  
Italian Guy
Originally Posted by Whispering Death
By the way, not a huge sanction there. You get to abduct a citizen in his own country and your punishment is you can't have cheese and wine in Milan anymore.
He was not an Italian citizen, though.