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Senate Report on CIA Torture

Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf Plots

After 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) devised a plot to crash hijacked airplanes into Heathrow Airport and a building in Canary Warf in the United Kingdom. The CIA said in multiple reports to “senior policymakers, intelligence officials, and the Department of Justice” that these plots were disrupted using “[k]ey intelligence collected from [high-value detainee] interrogations after applying [enhanced] ‘interrogation techniques’” that was “otherwise unavailable.” This claim is false.

The CIA already knew about potential plots to target Heathrow Airport “[p]rior to the detention and interrogation of the CIA detainees credited by the CIA with providing information,” and disrupted the plots without using information from detainees subjected to torture or cruel treatment. Specifically, the CIA was aware that KSM, Ammar al-Baluchi, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh were involved in a plan to hijack airplanes and crash them into Heathrow, but that “plotting had not progressed beyond the planning stages” - they had only identified possible pilots for the attacks (though “the two operatives were unwitting of the plot” and had not been assigned yet) and no attack was imminent. The plots were “fully disrupted” with the capture and detention of the planners - KSM, Ammar al-Baluchi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Khallad bin Attash, and “[t]here are no CIA records to indicate that any of the individuals were captured as a result of CIA detainee reporting.”

The CIA subjected KSM to waterboarding and other forms of torture and cruel treatment in an attempt to learn more about the plots. However, under the stress of the interrogation, KSM repeatedly lied and fabricated information about the attacks and later retracted many of his statements. The information he provided "was also questioned by CIA officers."