More Questions on Missing Imam
If the CIA did abduct Abu Omar in Italy, the timing suggests his rendition was connected to the upcoming war in Iraq.
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
June 29 - A radical imam allegedly abducted by CIA agents in Italy shortly before the U.S. invasion of Iraq was identified as a key figure in a jihadi network supplying foreign fighters for Ansar Al-Islam—a terror group that the Bush administration was then seeking to link to Saddam Hussein’s government, according to Italian court records.
The court records laying out the Italian case against Egyptian-born cleric Mostafa Hassan Nasr Osama, or Abu Omar, suggest possible motives for an otherwise puzzling CIA operation that has created new tensions between U.S. and European counterterrorism officials. An Italian judge last week ordered the arrest of 13 purported CIA operatives on kidnapping charges and requested that Interpol, the international police agency, provide assistance in tracking them down.
The CIA has steadfastly refused to comment on any aspect of the case, much less discuss why the agency would have undertaken such a snatch operation—known as an “extraordinary rendition