Egypt's New VP Omar Suleiman known for his brutality and CIA links ,Suleiman underwent training at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Centre at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in the 1980's. Also headed up the CIA's Egypt extraordinary rendition operation

The man named by President Hosni Mubarak as his first ever Vice President, spy chief Omar Suleiman, reportedly orchestrated the brutal interrogation of terror suspects abducted by the CIA in its secret “extraordinary rendition” program.

Mr Suleiman has carried out sensitive truce negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians as well as talks among rival Palestinian factions, winning the praise of American diplomats.

For US intelligence officials, he has been a trusted partner willing to pursue Islamist militants without hesitation, targeting homegrown radical groups Gamaa Islamiya and Jihad after they carried out a string of attacks on foreigners.

He was also “the CIA’s point man in Egypt for rendition – the covert program in which the CIA snatched terror suspects from around the world and returned them to Egypt and elsewhere for interrogation, often under brutal circumstances”, according to Jane Mayer in a profile for The New Yorker.

“Technically, US law required the CIA to seek ‘assurances’ from Egypt that rendered suspects wouldn’t face torture,” Mayer writes. “But under Suleiman’s reign at the intelligence service, such assurances were considered close to worthless.”

Mayer is the author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals.

A product of the US-Egyptian relationship, Mr Suleiman underwent training in the 1980s at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School and Centre at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

After taking over as spy director, Mr Suleiman oversaw an agreement with the US in 1995 that allowed for suspected militants to be secretly transferred to Egypt for questioning, according to the book Ghost Plane by journalist Stephen Grey.

In the run-up to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the CIA relied on Mr Suleiman to accept the transfer of a detainee known as Ibn Sheikh al-Libi, who US officials hoped could prove a link between Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and al-Qa’ida.

The suspect was bound and blindfolded and flown to Cairo, where he was locked in a cage for hours and beaten, according to The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, until he told his interrogators that the Iraqi regime was moving to provide terrorist group al-Qa’ida with biological and chemical weapons.

When then US secretary of state Colin Powell made the case for war before the UN, he referred to details of Libi’s confession.

The detainee eventually recanted his account.

AFP

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