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Senate Report on CIA Torture

Sajid Badat Capture

Sajid Badat was an al Qaeda operative who “planned to carry out an attack against a Western airliner with [British al Qaeda member] Richard Reid using a shoe bomb explosive device in December 2001.” Badat withdrew from the operation in “late 2001.” Reid unsuccessfully attempted to detonate his shoe bomb on a flight from Paris to Miami on December 22, 2001. In multiple intelligence reports for senior policymakers, intelligence officials, and the Department of Justice, the CIA claimed that the identification and capture of Badat was “an example of how ‘[k]ey intelligence collected from HVD (High Value Detainee) interrogations after applying interrogation techniques’ had ‘enabled CIA to disrupt terrorist plots’ and ‘capture additional terrorists.’” In “at least one CIA document prepared for the president,” the CIA “highlighted the waterboard interrogation technique” as critical to learning information about Badat. Specifically, the CIA claimed that “[l]eads provided by [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed], in November 2003 led directly to the arrest of shoe bomber Richard Reid’s one-time patner Sajid Badat in the UK.” The CIA provided similar representations regarding Ammar al-Baluchi and Abu Zubaydah, including that “[L]eads provided by … Ammar al-Baluchi in November 2003 led directly to the arrest … of Sajid Badat” and “credit[ing] Abu Zubaydah with identifying Sajid Badat.” 

In reality, neither CIA detainees nor “enhanced interrogation” played a role in the identification or capture of Badat. CIA records show that despite a “lack of any reporting on Sajid Badat from Abu Zubaydah,” and “[p]rior to any reporting from CIA detainees, and as early as January 14, 2002, the FBI informed the CIA that Richard Reid ‘had an unidentified partner who allegedly backed out of the operation at the last minute.’” The United Kingdom led the investigation and identified and arrested Badat after receiving reports from the FBI and foreign governments and analyzing phone records. On September 9, 2003, a Guantanamo Bay detainee who was not subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques identified a photograph of Badat as “Abu Issa the shoebomber.” After “conducting extensive surveillance of Sajid Badat, the U.K. authorities arrested Badat on November 27, 2003.” Badat pled guilty to terrorism-related charges and “was voluntarily cooperative throughout much of his pre-sentencing incarceration.”