Thursday, May 21, 2009
FBI Agent Accusing "Synagogue Bombers" Previously Pressured a Wounded Boy to Finger an Innocent Man as a Terrorist, Causing that Guy to be Tortured
The Village Voice writes:
The FBI agent with a high-profile role in yesterday's arrests of four men for plotting a terror attack in New York has a pretty interesting -- and controversial -- track record.As if that isn't bad enough, it turns out that Fuller pressured (and perhaps tortured) a wounded boy prisoner into wrongfully identifying the Canadian guy as a terrorist:
Special Agent Robert Fuller, whose name appears at the top of the federal criminal complaint in the case, had a hand in the FBI's failure to nab two of the 9/11 hijackers, had one of his informants set himself on fire in front of the White House, and was involved in misidentifying a Canadian man as a terrorist leading to his secret arrest and torture -- a case that is now the subject of a major lawsuit.
Fuller was involved in the earlier Canadian case as the man who interrogated a wounded Afghani teenager named Omar Khadr ... Under Fuller's interrogation, Khadr dubiously identified a Canadian citizen named Maher Arar as someone he had seen in Afghanistan. Arar was then shipped to Syria where he was imprisoned and tortured for a year. It's now been proven that Arar could not have been in Afghanistan when Khadr, under intense pressure from Fuller, said he saw him there.
In January, Fuller took the witness stand in Khadr's trial at Guantanamo Bay. He testified that during the interrogation at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Khadr identified Arar from a photo and said he had seen him in Afghanistan.
Under cross examination, though, Fuller disclosed that Khadr didn't actually identify Arar. Instead, he first said Arar "looked familiar," and then "in time" he felt he recognized the man in the photo, according to Fuller's testimony....
According to Steven Watt, one of Arar's lawyers now with the ACLU, Khadr's identification should have been treated as highly suspect... "Khadr would have been about 14, blind in one eye and suffering from serious wounds," Watt says. "It was totally ridiculous."
Fuller also dropped the ball before 9/11:
Fuller was also on the team that was tasked to track down two of the 9/11 hijackers in August, 2001, prior to the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The New York Observer reported that after the CIA told the FBI that the two hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi were in the United States, Fuller was assigned to bring them into custody on Aug. 23, 2001, 19 days prior to the attacks.
A fellow agent, the Observer reported, had labeled the lead "routine," meaning that Fuller had 30 days to catch them. Fuller went through local databases, checked Mihdhar's New York hotel and then let it drop. Standard procedure, the papers said, held that he also should have search commercial databases, but he did not.
He later claimed that he consulted ChoicePoint database on Sept. 4 or 5, but the 9/11 Commission later concluded that the FBI did not consult that database until after the attacks, the newspaper said.