"Extraordinary rendition"

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Interest of • Jeffrey Kaye
• Jeffrey S. Kaye
• Dick Marty

"Extraordinary rendition" is the imprisonment and forced transfer of individuals by intelligence agencies from one legal jurisdiction to another without recourse to legal proceedings such as extradition. When carried out by groups other than intelligence agencies, this is called kidnapping and person trafficking.

It is carried out in by the CIA in secret, often combined with kidnapping (for example, Mordechai Vanunu) and/or drug trafficking. The purpose of the transfer is to to circumvent the legal process, for example avoiding a formal extradition or circumventing restrictions about subjecting the individual to torture or murder. No one is known to have faced legal consequences for this practice.


At least far back as Allen Dulles, the CIA has carried out extraordinary rendition. An academic writing a Ph.D thesis was kidnapped by the CIA in USA and flown to Dominica where he was tortured and murdered.[1] The practice of rendition but is estimated[By whom?] to be at least several hundred per year.[citation needed]

Black sites in Europe

Extraordinary Rendition flights by the CIA, as reported by Rzeczpospolita[2]

In January 2005, Swiss senator Dick Marty, representative at the Council of Europe in charge of the European investigations, concluded that 100 people had been kidnapped by the CIA in Europe — thus qualifying as ghost detainees — and then rendered to a country where they may have been tortured. Marty qualified the sequestration of Abu Omar in Milan in February 2003 as a "perfect example of extraordinary rendition."[3][4][5]

Legal status

The Guardian reported on 5 December 2005, that the government of the UK is "guilty of breaking international law if it knowingly allowed secret CIA "rendition" flights of terror suspects to land at UK airports, according to a report by American legal scholars."[6][7]

War on Terror

Full article: Rated 4/5 “War on Terror”

The practice is not integral to the "War on Terror", but correlated with it. Both contribute to a climate of fear. The number of "rendition" cases (and their purposes) is not publicly acknowledged, which is excused by the pretext of "national security". The label of "suspected terrorist" is used to chill interest in those held, for example, at Guantanamo Bay.


A prisoner being strapped down on board a plane before rendition

Imprisonment and smuggling of victims is closely connected to their torture. Swiss senator Dick Marty referred to the case of Egyptian cleric Abu Omar 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.[8] Eight other American and Italian defendants were acquitted.[8] A common pattern is to transfer such victims to remote locations to facilitate their torture, either for pragmatic purposes or to minimise potential legal issues.

Drug trafficking

Full article: CIA/Drug trafficking
CIA drug rendition arms plane.jpg

The use of secret international flights for rendition must be seen in context of the CIA's long history of drug trafficking. At least two CIA aircraft used to transport prisoners were later used to transport tonnes of cocaine. In 2006, a DC-9 that landed in Mexico (later dubbed 'Cocaine 1') was found to have tonnes of the drug on board.[9][10] as XC-LJZ.[11] In 2007 a Gulfstream jet crashed in Mexico with between 3 and 6.3 tonnes of cocaine on board. It had been regularly used by the CIA for rendition to Guantanamo Bay.


Victims of “Extraordinary rendition” on Wikispooks

Khalid El-MasriKidnapped for months by the CIA after a case of mistaken identity. His lawsuit was dismissed on grounds of "national security"
Aldo Moro
Robert Nairac
Abu OmarAn Egyptian cleric who was kindnapped in Milan by the CIA in 2003 and sent to Egypt where he was subject to torture.
Gul RahmanKidnapped and tortured to death by the CIA.
Aafia SiddiquiAafia Siddiqui is an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist, tortured and raped for years by US forces, now serving a life sentence after a trial of a highly questionable nature.
Mordechai VanunuThe former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986.He was captured by Mossad, kidnapped and subsequently imprisoned for 18 years, including 11 years in solitary confinement. He continues to be subject to harrassment and forbidden to speak to foreigners or to leave Israel.
Abu ZubaydahA prisoner of the deep state, subjected to torture, denied legal process.

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
File:CIA Shannon Report 9 2 09.pdfreport9 February 2008Edward Horgan
Child Soldier Coerced Into Plea-Bargainarticle7 October 2010Keith Jones
File:EU20060124Jdoc032006E.pdfreport24 January 2006Dick Marty
File:EUEdoc10957.pdfreport12 June 2006
File:EUResolutionMarty.pdflegal document8 September 2011Dick Marty
My CIA Renditionstatement17 March 2011Abu Omar
Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second reportwebpage11 June 2007Dick Marty
The Rendition of Abu OmararticleAugust 2007John Foot
Torture Inquiry must reveal the Trutharticle7 July 2010Peter Oborne


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3eOE5POjlM
  2. "Politycy nie pozwolili śledczym tropić lotów CIA – Rzeczpospolita". Rzeczpospolita (in Invalid language code.). 17 April 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  3. "Europe 'knew about' CIA flights". BBC News. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2006. 
  4. Wilkinson, Tracy (26 November 2005). "Europe in Uproar over CIA Operations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 December 2005. [dead link]
  5. "CIA Flights in Europe: The Hunt for Hercules N8183J". Der Spiegel. Retrieved 18 December 2005. 
  6. Cobain, Ian (5 December 2005). "Special Reports: UK 'breaking law' over CIA secret flights". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 18 December 2005. 
  7. "British Tory MP Blasts Extraordinary Rendition, Says Britain Broke International Law and "Complicit in Torture" if Flights Passed Through UK". Democracy Now. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 18 December 2005. 
  8. a b CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap BBC
  9. Y estrenan avión... decomisado Abel Barajas. Reforma. Mexico City: Dec 24, 2006. pg. 1
  10. Utilizan avión incautado Palabra. Saltillo, Mexico: Apr 11, 2007. pg. 16
  11. http://www.edinavtn.co.uk/assets/files/PDFs/DC9.pdf