Alleged Mastermind of the USS Cole Attack Says He Was Tortured

Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who allegedly masterminded the attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors in the Gulf of Aden in Yemen, claims he has been tortured since his capture in 2002.

"The Detainee states that he was tortured into confession and once he made a confession his captors were happy and they stopped torturing him," a personal representative said on al Nashiri's behalf at his enemy combatant tribunal at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. "Also, the Detainee states that he made up stories during the torture in order to get it to stop."

According to the transcript, al Nashiri confessed to planning attacks on U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf, working to help al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden secure a nuclear bomb and planning to hijack a plan and crash it into a ship in addition to the attack on the USS Cole.


As for the extent of his relationship with bin Laden, al Nashiri admitted to meeting with him several times and said he received "maybe about a half million dollars" for "personal expenses."

Those personal expenses included "a fishing project in Pakistan and a wooden ship in Dubai," which al Nashiri maintains was his own project.  But when bin Laden talked of using the money for a bombing, al Nashiri said he sold the ship, gave the money away and "helped a lot of people," according to the transcript.

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He followed that with denying he ever swore allegiance to al Qaeda's No. 1, "No, I didn't take the pledge of allegiance to Usama bin Laden...The way he does it, I did not support them one hundred percent."

When asked to expound on his claims of torture, al Nashiri said his captors were Americans.  "From the time I was arrested years ago, they have been torturing me," he told the tribunal, according to the transcript.

All details of the actual methods of torture as described by al Nashiri were redacted from the transcript released by the Pentagon.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said any allegations of torture would be investigated.

Read the transcript to al Nashiri's tribunal.

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