Image from the CIA's surveillance of Abu Omar recovered during investigations by the prosecuting authorities in Milan
18 March 1963|
• “Extraordinary rendition”|
An Egyptian cleric who was kindnapped in Milan by the CIA in 2003 and sent to Egypt where he was subject to torture.
Abu Omar, also known as 'Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr', is an Egyptian cleric. In 2003 he was living in Milan, Italy, from where he was kidnapped and later tortured in Egypt. This prompted a series of investigations in Italy, culminating in the criminal convictions (in absentia) of 22 CIA operatives, a U.S. Air Force colonel, and two Italian accomplices.
Abduction by the CIA
On February 17, 2003, Nasr was abducted by CIA agents  as he walked to his mosque in Milan for noon prayers, thus becoming an effective ghost detainee. He was later transported to a prison in Egypt where he was tortured.
In April 2004, while his incarceration had been downgraded to house arrest, Nasr placed several phone calls from Egypt to his family and friends. He told them he had been rendered into the hands of Egypt's State Security Intelligence (SSI) at Tura prison, twenty miles south of Cairo. He said he had been subjected to various depredations, tortured by beating and electric shocks to the genitals, raped,  and eventually had lost hearing in one ear. At the time of the calls he had been released on the orders of an Egyptian judge because of lack of evidence. Shortly after those calls were made he was re-arrested and placed back in prison.
Omar's case has been qualified by Swiss senator Dick Marty as a "perfect example of extraordinary rendition". On 4 November 2009, an Italian judge convicted in absentia 22 CIA agents, a USAF colonel and two Italian secret agents of the kidnap. Eight other American and Italian defendants were acquitted. USAF Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L. Romano, at the time of the conviction commander of the 37th Training Group of the 37th Training Wing, and 21 of the American defendants received five-year prison sentences. Former Milan CIA station chief, Robert Seldon Lady, received an eight year prison sentence. The convicts were also ordered to each pay 1 million Euros to Omar and 500,000 Euros to Omar's wife.  These convictions have been viewed in the media as being largely symbolic as none of these individuals are currently in Italian custody, and the Italian government has declined to seek their extradition.
The abduction prompted a series of investigations and intrigues within the Italian intelligence community and criminal justice system; in the Italian press, these are collectively referred to as the Imam Rapito (or "kidnapped Imam") affair.
Release in February 2007
On February 11, 2007, Mr Omar's lawyer Montasser el-Zayat confirmed that his client had been released and was now back with his family. After four years of detention, an Egyptian court ruled that his imprisonment was "unfounded." 
He still could face arrest as a suspected terrorist and associate of terrorists if he returns to Italy.
A Document by Abu Omar
|Title||Document type||Publication date||Subject(s)|
|Document:My CIA Rendition||statement||17 March 2011||"Extraordinary rendition"|
|Document:The Rendition of Abu Omar||article||August 2007||John Foot|
|Document:Why the CIA went astray over Abu Omar||article||6 July 2005||Trowbridge Ford|
- CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap BBC News 4 November 2009
- "Italy Says It Didn't Know of CIA Plan". The Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2005
- Parla l'avvocato di Abu Omar "L'imam sarà liberato a giorni"
- ABU OMAR: "IN EGITTO FUI STUPRATO, BERLUSCONI LO SAPPIA", La Repubblica
- "In Italy, Anger at U.S. Tactics Colors Spy Case". The New York Times 26 June 2005.
- CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap BBC
- Italy convicts Air Force O-6 in CIA kidnap case Military Times 4 November 2009.
- Egypt releases 'rendition' cleric BBC 12 February 2007
- Italy indicts 31 linked to CIA rendition case
- Wikipedia page
- Rendition Cindy Sheehan? CIA Fugitive From Italy Justice Is Located
- CIA Ruse Is Said to Have Damaged Probe in Milan: Italy Allegedly Misled on Cleric's Abduction, Washington Post, 6 December 2005
- A Cleric's Journey, Washington Post, 6 December 2005
- Ex-Aviano officer won't comment on alleged abduction, Stars and Stripes, 10 December 2006
- Italy indicts 31 linked to CIA rendition case, International Herald Tribune, 15 February 2007
- Amnesty International interview.
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