Al Qaeda says Libyan torture justified US invasion of Iraq

By Daily Maverick Legacy 5 October 2009

Al Qaeda deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri has accused Libya of killing a militant whose confession was used to justify the US-led invasion of Iraq. He said al Qaeda would punish the US for handing the man over to agents of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyans say the man committed suicide while serving a life sentence in one of their jails. Zawahri said in a video posted on an Islamist website that a false confession about a relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein was obtained through torture. The man later recanted his confession, but this issue was used by George W Bush and Britain’s Tony Blair as a pretext to invade Iraq.US human rights groups said the militant gave this account to interrogators in Egypt, where he was sent by the US in 2002. He was later secretly sent to Libya. Just how Tripoli’s push to reintegrate itself into the wider world of trade and commerce will turn out is not yet clear. For many years the West accused Libya of being a sponsor of global terrorism, but al Qaeda’s statement now suggests all sorts of underhand dealings, especially after the release of the only man convicted for the Lockerbie bombing.

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