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CIA's tough terror tactics saved lives: Bush

The US president said this in a staunch defence of secret CIA prisons and methods branded by critics as torture.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 15:04 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

"Connecting the dots" along a trail of thwarted terror, President George W Bush has said CIA interrogation methods wrecked Al-Qaeda plots in America, Africa, London and Pakistan.

In a staunch defence of secret CIA prisons and methods branded by critics as torture, Bush on Wednesday gave unprecedented details of US interrogations of some of Osama bin Laden's top terror planners.

Averted attacks included a plan to blow up an explosives-laden water tanker to target US Marines in Djibouti, new airliner suicide strikes in the US and Britain and a bid to sow biological carnage with anthrax, he said.

"Today, I'm going to share with you some of the examples provided by our intelligence community of how this programme has saved lives," Bush said in a major speech at the White House.

The first big break against Al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks five years ago, came with the capture in 2002 of Abu Zubaydah, a "trusted" aide to Osama bin Laden, Bush said.

Severely wounded Zubaydah, a Palestinian raised in Saudi Arabia nursed back to health by US medics, was "defiant and evasive."

At first he spilled what he believed to be "nominal" information, but in fact unveiled a "vital piece of the puzzle" that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, alias KSM, was the "brains" behind September 11, Bush said, as he announced Mohammed and other top suspects had been transferred from secret CIA jails to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, and would face military trials.

First Published: Sep 07, 2006 15:04 IST