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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 17:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Terror suspect 'tortured by US'
Damage to the USS Cole
The USS Cole attack killed 17 US servicemen in 2000
A Saudi man held in US custody for five years has told a military hearing he was tortured into confessing a role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 41, said he had faced years of torture after his arrest in 2002, a Pentagon transcript from the closed-door hearing said.

Mr Nashiri said he made up stories to satisfy his captors, the transcript said, but gave no details of torture.

He was among 14 "high-value" detainees moved to Guantanamo Bay in September.

One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri transcript

The 14 men were previously held in secret CIA prisons but are now being detained in a maximum security wing in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The US has accused Mr Nashiri of being the leader of al-Qaeda's operations in the Gulf at the time of the attack in Yemen, which killed 17 US sailors and almost sunk the warship.

He was tried in absentia in a Yemeni court in September 2004 and sentenced to death.

Interrogators 'happy'

Mr Nashiri's testimony was given at a military tribunal held at Guantanamo to determine his status as an "enemy combatant" on 14 March, AFP news agency reports.

"From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me," the transcript of his hearing read.

"It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way.

According to his testimony he eventually "confessed" to playing a key role in the bombing of the USS Cole.

"I just said those things to make the people happy," the transcript read.

"They were very happy when I told them those things."

Among the apparent confessions contained in the transcript, Mr Nashiri told his interrogators that he met al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden several times and received significant amounts of money from him.

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