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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 22:45 GMT 23:45 UK
Bush expands on 'plot details'
Abu Zubaydah
Much of the CIA information began with the capture of Abu Zubaydah
US President George W Bush's speech on terror detainees contained a swathe of previously unrevealed information aimed at backing the claim that the CIA prisons programme had been invaluable.

In the words of the president, "it gave us information we couldn't get anywhere else".

Mr Bush gave a number of examples of men who had talked after being dealt with by the CIA in a manner which he acknowledged was tough but did not amount to torture.

He began: "Today, I'm going to share with you some of the examples provided by our intelligence community of how this programme has saved lives."

He took as a starting point the capture of the suspect Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002.

Mr Bush said Abu Zubaydah was a "trusted" aide to Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

This intelligence has helped us connect the dots and stop attacks before they occur
George W Bush

Abu Zubaydah was seriously wounded in his capture and restored to health under CIA supervision, Mr Bush said.

After initial defiance, Abu Zubaydah gave information he regarded as nominal but which Mr Bush said also included pointing to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of the 11 September attacks.

Abu Zubaydah's intelligence was used to halt a terror attack inside the US, Mr Bush said, and included the arrest of one plotter on his way to the country.


The president then said Abu Zubaydah "stopped talking" and, with the agreement of the justice department, an "alternative set of procedures" were used, although Mr Bush denied any use of torture.

"Soon, he began to provide information on key al-Qaeda operatives," Mr Bush said

George W Bush
Mr Bush said the CIA methods were tough but lawful

This led to the capture of Ramzi Binalshibh and later Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The same techniques led "KSM" to reveal information about Hambali, the leader of the South-east Asian group Jemaah Islamiya, said to have been involved in the 2002 Bali bombings.

"KSM" also implicated Hambali's brother, who then exposed 17 more suspects, Mr Bush said.

"The operatives were being groomed at KSM's request for attacks inside the United States, probably using airplanes. During questioning, KSM also provided many details of other plots to kill innocent Americans," Mr Bush said.

He said the plots included:

  • Planting bombs high in US buildings to prevent escape for people on upper floors
  • Using an explosives-laden water tanker to target US marines in Djibouti
  • Setting up a cell to create anthrax
  • Carrying out new suicide attacks in the US and Britain - including on either Heathrow or Canary Wharf in London - using hijacked planes
  • Carrying out car and motorcycle bomb attacks in Karachi, Pakistan

Mr Bush said the CIA techniques were "tough" but "safe, and lawful, and necessary".

He added: "I cannot describe the specific methods used," because it might help suspects learn how to resist.

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