Gitmo 'saved lives'

Evidence from the camp where torture is alleged foiled attacks in Britain, says intelligence chief

The interrogation of detainees at Guantanamo Bay has saved Britain from at least two major terrorist attacks, according to President George Bush's chief intelligence adviser.

John Negroponte, Director of National Intelligence, claims information obtained from inmates at the camp has proved vital in thwarting a series of terror attacks around the world, including in Britain.

A summary of the so-called 'High-Value Terrorist Detainee Program', states that 'reporting from terrorist detainees has become a crucial pillar of US counterterrorism efforts, representing the single largest source of insight into al-Qaeda for the US and its CT (counter-terrorism) partners. The detention of terrorists disrupts - at least temporarily - the plots they were involved in, saving the lives not only of Americans, but also of countless men, women and children around the globe.'

It identifies two key terror plots in Britain that it says were disrupted thanks to information provided by detainees. 'In mid-2004, the US and its counterterrorism partners disrupted a plot that involved attacking urban targets in the United Kingdom with explosive devices. Some of the key leads to these plotters came from detainees.'

It also states that a 2003 plot to attack Heathrow airport using hijacked airliners was disrupted thanks to information from detainees. Other countries have apparently benefited too. The document states: 'In the spring of 2003, the US and a partner detained key al-Qaeda operatives who were in the advanced stages of plotting an attack against several targets in Karachi, Pakistan, that would have killed hundreds of innocent men, women and children.'

In all, the agency believes detainees have provided the names of 86 al-Qaeda operatives that are or have been 'deemed suitable for Western operations'.

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