McConnell claims his sister Kristine “Con Air” Marcy and Serco director Maureen Baginski set up a joint venture between London Company investee, Corrections Corp Of America, and the U.S. Marshals to operate Diego Garcia as a rendition/torture base for deploying live or dead prisoners at simulated crime scenes which require spot-fixed body counts to wag the dog!
Dubai Air Navigation Services – Serco
Emirates Airline President Tim Clark is demanding more transparency in the investigation of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. “We are the largest operator of the Boeing 777 in the world. I need to know how anybody could interdict our systems,” Clark told Aviation Week in an interview on the sidelines of theInternational Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual general assembly in Doha, Qatar. “Something is not right here and we need to get to the bottom of it.”
Clark criticized how the investigation into the disappearance of the Malaysian Boeing 777 has been handled. “There have been many questions unanswered or dealt with in a manner that is unacceptable to the forensic nature of the inquiry.” He believes that “this aircraft was disabled in three primary systems. To be able to disable those requires a knowledge of the system which even our pilots in Emirates don’t know how to do. Somebody got on board and knew exactly what they were up to.”
Clark also does not believe that the aircraft was not seen when it flew over land in Malaysia after its initial unplanned left turn. “The notion that the track of an aircraft going across the Malaysian peninsula was not picked up on primary radar, sorry, I don’t subscribe to that view.”
The Emirates President is also skeptical about the industry initiatives on flight tracking. “We have never lost an aeroplane in 50 years, we have always known where they are. Whoever was clever enough to interdict the system, will be able to interdict this one as well.” To Clark, tracking is not the main issue: “the first thing you need to do is do not allow anybody on board to disable ACARS – job done.””
Serco – United Arab Emirates
Posted 99 days ago
This is a preview of the Simulator Engineer job at Serco. To view the full job listing, join LinkedIn – its free!
About this job
Simulator Engineer for DANS (Dubai Airports Navigation Services) ATC radar and tower simulators. The purpose of this position is to ensure 24/7 availability and integrity of all Air Traffic Simulation equipment at DXB and DWC airports.
-Ensure 24/7 availability and integrity of all Air Traffic Simulation equipment at DXB and DWC airports
-Ensure minimal disruption to simulator availability by conducting maintenance activities of BEST and all Third Party simulation equipment at DXB and DWC
-Diagnose and repair faults on a wide range of highly technical and sensitive equipment including: Aviation Communications, projection systems, windows systems, etc
-Coordinate with ATE scheduled and corrective maintenance to depth A or B where required for support of third party critical simulation systems
-Implement back-up procedures when required
-Maintain detailed and accurate records and files related to work performed which includes logging all reported events and initiates the appropriate response in accordance with Service Level Agreements
-Develop 3D ATC environment in the Image Generator using specialised 3D production tools
-Design and update airspace and airfield layouts and amend air traffic scenarios to support the new developments and projects and accurately replicate the changes in the real life-Perform OJTI activities and direct the work of junior personnel on specific projects and tasks ensuring that proper safety precautions are followed
-Assist in development of training documentation, AIPs and LSIs when required
-Mentor and assist in the development of other OT members to enhance their knowledge and capability
-Provide system adaption assistance when requested by ATC or other airport customers
-Maintain a working knowledge of a diverse range of equipment, the impact on airport operations when systems are not available, and to.
-Ensure that the DIMS processes and procedures are adhered to
-Assist with other duties as requested
Desired Skills and Experience
-Degree / diploma in Electronics Engineering from an accredited university or equivalent working experience in the Simulator Engineering field.
-Working knowledge of CAD, 3D modeling, database management, AFTN/OLDI and data-link services
-Knowledge of technical and schematic drawing/diagrams interpretation
-Extensive knowledge of ATC and Aviation principals
-User level competence in Fast Airport Builder software
-Fluency in written and spoken English is essential
-Attention to details and analytical skills
-Problem solving and decision making
-Excellent communication and organizational skills
-Computer literacy with MS office packages skills
-Minimum 5 years` experience with BEST and ATC simulation systems in a comparable work environment, or equivalent simulator platforms.
-Operational ATC experience preferred
About this company
Serco improves the quality and efficiency of essential services that matter to millions of people around the world.
The work we do for national and local governments involves us in the most important areas of public service, including health, education, transport, science and defence.
Our private sector customers are industry-leading organisations in a wide variety of markets.
We have nearly 50 years’ experience of helping our customers achieve their goals. Many want us to improve their productivity and service quality. Others need us to support their rapid growth. Government customers face crucial issues such as economic development, congestion, security and climate change. They value the innovation and passion we bring to these challenges, and the collaborative, flexible and imaginative way we work.
Serco is a values-led company with a culture and ethos that is at the heart of everything we do. We give our people real responsibility, allowing them to put their ideas into practice and to truly make a difference for our customers and the public. Our approach has made us one of the world’s leading service companies and our vision is to be the world’s greatest.
Our service ethos means that our customers come back to us again and again. These long-term relationships help us to meet their changing needs and to do what we do best…
…bringing service to life.”
|“Jamil Khir Bin Mohamed
Director Of Malaysia Aviation Academy
Tel : 603 – 8777 9000
Fax : 603 – 8787 1550
Email : email@example.com
Formal instruction of air traffic controllers only started circa 1950s to 1960s, in the form of ad-hoc temporary classes conducted by senior controllers. Previously, training was carried out on-the-job and appointment was based on competency. After 1960s a few controllers were sent abroad. In response to the growing need to train controllers locally, a Civil Aviation Training Centre was established at the Paya Lebar Airport in Singapore.
The cession of Singapore from Malaysia resulted in the reorganizing of the administration of civil aviation. Mr. A. Parker, a Colombo Plan expert from Australia with two other consultants; S. Hill (ATC) and Mathisen (Fire Services) assisted in the setting up of a training centre under the Australian Aid Programme. On 21st September 1969, the Civil Aviation Training Centre (CATC) was established with two branches, namely ‘the School of Air Traffic Services’ and ‘the School of Aerodrome Fire and Rescue Services’. The CATC was temporarily located adjacent to the main terminal building at Subang in buildings that were originally constructed as a quarantine station.
The first batch of ATC trainees passed out of the CATC on 25th April 1970. The first RADAR simulator was installed in 1974. By the late 70’s, the CATC was getting congested and plans were afoot to expand the terminal building, thus affecting the CATC, especially the AFRS training. The government approved a 2-phase development plan for the CATC. Phase 1 consisted of 4 wooden blocks, built on a hillock across the road from the terminal building at Subang. Phase two would involve the construction of permanent structures and the wooden blocks were then to be converted into hostels for trainees. The first phase of the plan was implemented and the new college was officially opened on 1st January 1981 and renamed ‘Civil Aviation College’ (CAC). The college was down-sized in October 1992, when airport operations were privatized. The AFRS School moved to Penang to join the Security Training Centre, and became a part of the airport operator, Malaysia Airports Berhad’s training centre.
In 1996, in preparation for the opening of the new KLIA airport at Sepang, and the concurrent reorganization of the Kuala Lumpur FIR airspace structure, a massive training schedule was required to train many new controllers as well as retrain all existing controllers. As the college was not in a position to handle such numbers, the training was contracted out to IAL-Serco and Airspace Management Services (a joint venture between a local company and Ambidji of Australia).
The second phase of a permanent training complex only materialised in 2009. The new buildings in Sepang is now in operations. The previous training needs concurrent to KLIA’s opening had resulted in the procurement of two new radar simulators of more than 25 Nodes, a number of Non Radar simulators and 3 units of 2-D Aerodrome Simulators and one unit 360 Degrees Aerodrome simulator. These equipments were housed at the branch campus of the CAC in Taman SEA, Petaling Jaya.
With the re-location to Sepang, more simulator and other training resources will be added. MAVA is well equipped with a comprehensive range of facilities to conduct all required courses inclusive of training world class Controllers to provide ATM services in Malaysia and internationally.”
“Missing MH370 latest: Pilot’s wife breaks silence… says he spoke from cockpit
New report revives conspiracy theory; Hunt shifts south after more than 100 days
Staff with Agencies
Published Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The Malaysian government has released 47 pages of raw satellite data used to conclude that the missing Malaysia Airlines jet crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. Pic: YouTube
UPDATE: In a latest development that contradicts an earlier report, the wife of one of the pilots onboard the missing MH370 flight has reportedly confirmed that her husband spoke to her from the cockpit, according to a report in the independent.
The report quotes two New Zealand journalists who claim to have spoken to the wife of the captain.
It was earlier reported that the co-pilot had said the words “good night Malaysia 370” and weeks later, the airline had revealed that they were unsure as to who uttered those words.
New report revives conspiracy theory
A new Sunday Times reports states that the official police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has reportedly identified the plane’s captain as the prime suspect.
According to the report Malaysian cops discovered that married dad of three Shah, 53, appeared to have made no social or work commitments for the future, unlike other members of his crew,.
The report also claims that a probe found that he had programmed a flight simulator with drills practicing a flight far out into the southern Indian Ocean and landing on an island with a short runway.
This section of the report will revive the conspiracy theorists favorite explanation: Diego Garcia.
Search to change direction
The drawn-out search for missing Malaysian Flight MH370 will revert to an area hundreds of kilometres south of the previously suspected crash site following new analysis of the plane’s flight path, a report said Friday.
Investigators grappling to solve the mystery of the jet’s disappearance are set to scour a zone 1,800 kilometres (1,116 miles) west of Perth – previously subject to an aerial search – when an underwater probe resumes in August, the West Australian said.
Citing unnamed US sources, the newspaper said Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) would soon announce the hunt will move 800 kilometres southwest from where it was previously focused.
It said these sources had revealed that survey ship Fugro Equator was already operating in this area and would soon be joined by Chinese vessel Zhu Kezhen.
A massive aerial and underwater search for MH370, which had 239 people onboard when it diverted from its Kuala Lumpur to Beijing flight path on March 8, has failed to find any sign of the plane.
Scientists from British company Inmarsat told the BBC earlier this week that the search had yet to target the most likely crash site, or “hotspot”, after becoming diverted by pings thought at the time to have originated from the plane’s black boxes.
It was not clear from the West Australian report whether the new search area overlaps with the “hotspot”.
JACC said Friday that the revised search zone, based on an intensive study of satellite communications from the jet and other data, would be announced by the end of the month.
Australian officials have said repeatedly that the revised search zone will be in the area of the seventh arc, or the final satellite “handshake” from the plane. It is believed to be when the aircraft ran out of fuel and was in descent.
JACC said the Fugro Equator was now working in this zone.
“Located along the seventh arc, that area is consistent with provisional analysis of satellite and other data that is being used to determine the future search area,” it said.
Australian officials announced earlier this week that a survey of the sea bed, as yet mostly unmapped and crucial to the success of the underwater search, had resumed.
Two ships – Fugro Equator and Zhu Kezhen – will survey an area up to 6,000 metres deep and covering up to 60,000 square kilometres before an a contractor begins an intensive undersea probe looking for debris.
Previously an intensive undersea search for the plane, in the area in which the acoustic noises were detected, failed to find any sign of the jet.
The source of the noises is unknown.
Revised search zone for Malaysian flight by month’s end; Seabed mapping resumes
Australian officials said Wednesday they will announce the new search zone for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 by month’s end, as mapping of the Indian Ocean seabed resumed.
The jet went missing on March 8 flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and despite a massive aerial and sea search no sign of the aircraft which was carrying 239 people has been found.
An underwater probe of the Indian Ocean seabed where acoustic signals, thought at the time to have come from the jet’s black box recorders, were heard also proved fruitless.
Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre said analysis of satellite and other data to determine the search area for the next underwater phase would be concluded soon.
“The search area will be confirmed before the end of June, after completion of extensive collaborative analysis by a range of specialists,” it said in a statement.
“It is already clear from the provisional results of that analysis that the search zone will move, but still be on the seventh arc (where the aircraft last communicated with satellite).”
The search has been frustrated by a lack of information, with experts modeling the plane’s most likely flight path based on signals between it and an Inmarsat satellite.
The seventh arc, or “handshake”, is the final signal from the plane and thought to be when the jet ran out of fuel.
Scientists from the British firm have suggested that searchers are yet to target the most likely Indian Ocean crash site because they became distracted by the acoustic signals detected in April.
“It was by no means an unrealistic location but it was further to the northeast than our area of highest probability,” Chris Ashton at Inmarsat told the BBC’s Horizon program me on Tuesday.
But JACC said the area in which the Australian vessel Ocean Shield used a mini-sub to scour the ocean floor was “based on the best information and analysis available at that time”, including from Inmarsat.
“The location was identified by the satellite communications sub-group, which included accident investigation agencies from the USA and the UK along with their technical advisors, including from the aircraft manufacturer, the satellite manufacturer and Inmarsat as operator of the satellite,” JACC said Wednesday.
“Based on analysis at the time, it represented the most likely location of the aircraft.”
Australia, which is leading the hunt given the plane is likely to have crashed in its search and rescue zone, said the vessel Fugro Equator, which it contracted, had begun its work in mapping the ocean floor.
It will be joined by Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen in conducting the bathymetric survey crucial to carrying out the deep water search for the plane which is set to begin in August.
“So far, the Zhu Kezhen has surveyed 4,088 square kilometers of the ocean floor,” before it was forced back to port for repairs, JACC said.
The survey of a 60,000 square kilometer search zone was expected to take three months.
Dead, alive or lost? How to live for 100 days… A wife’s story
Zhang Qian’s world has collapsed in the more than 100 days since her husband disappeared along with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. She quit her job, sleeps rarely and prefers not to go out, except to Buddhist temples, where she has found some solace.
In the more than 100 days since her husband disappeared along with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, Zhang Qian’s world has collapsed. She quit her job, sleeps rarely and prefers not to go out, except to the Buddhist temples where she has found some solace.
“At the temple, I can speak from my heart to my husband,” Zhang, 28, said on a recent visit to the Temple of Spiritual Light in the western hills of Beijing. She broke down in sobs before continuing.
“I think he can hear me … I have so much to tell him, there is so much I have not said. I hope the Buddha will carry those words to him and bring him back.”
Much of the world has moved on from the frenzied interest in the mysterious March 8 disappearance of the plane, but relatives of the 239 people missing cannot. Satellite data shows that the plane went down in a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean far from any land, but with no trace of the aircraft recovered, many cling to a flicker of hope — however faint — that their loved ones might still be alive.
“It may be my fantasy, but what if one day he sends some distress signals and he gets saved, and that will be the end of this?” Zhang said.
Her husband was among 153 Chinese on the plane. Chinese culture places an especially heavy emphasis on finding and seeing the remains of people believed dead before true grieving and the process of moving on can begin.
The absence of proof of death has made closure elusive for all relatives, said Lawrence Palinkas, professor of social work at the University of Southern California.
“When there is no physical proof of death, it is easier to remain in (denial) for a much longer period of time,” he said. “At this point, those who have not accepted the possibility that the plane crashed and all aboard were lost are relying on extended family and friends to maintain the belief that family members are still alive, or that hope is still viable until the remains are found.”
The search for the missing Malaysian Flight MH370 is yet to target the most likely crash site, having been distracted by what is now believed to have been a bogus signal, British company Inmarsat claimed Tuesday.
Inmarsat’s scientists told the BBC’s Horizon program me that they had calculated the plane’s most likely flight path and a “hotspot” in the southern Indian Ocean in which it most likely came down.
The flight lost contact on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with total of 239 passengers and crew on board.
Hourly pings sent by the plane were received by Inmarsat’s spacecraft, leading scientists to calculate its likely path.
Australian naval vessel Ocean Shield was dispatched to investigate, but before reaching the likely site, began to detect a signal that it believed was coming from the plane’s black box, Inmarsat told the BBC program me.
Two months were spent searching 850 sq km of sea bed north west of Perth, but the source of the “pings” was not found and a submersible robot found no evidence of the airliner.
“It was by no means an unrealistic location but it was further to the north east than our area of highest probability,” Chris Ashton at Inmarsat told Horizon.
Experts from the satellite firm modeled the most likely flight path using the hourly pings and assuming a speed and heading consistent with the plane being flown by autopilot.
“We can identify a path that matches exactly with all those frequency measurements and with the timing measurements and lands on the final arc at a particular location, which then gives us a sort of a hotspot area on the final arc where we believe the most likely area is,” explained Ashton.
After coming under criticism from relatives over the futile search, Malaysia’s civil aviation authority and Inmarsat last month decided to release the raw data.
However, its complexity has led to few independent conclusions being drawn about the likely crash site.
Malaysian Selamat Umar, whose son Mohamad Khairul Amri was on the ill-fated jetliner, questioned the motives behind the data release.
“I am not convinced at all by the data,” he said. Why are they releasing it now? Before when we asked for it, they did not want to release it. What can we do with it now?
“I think they could have made some changes to the data,” Selamat, 60, added.
Book claims truth
Just as the mystery that surrounds the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 was fading into distant memory, a new book is set to enflame passions and arguments that support a conspiracy theory.
The book, authored by a pilot and journalist from New Zealand, claims to show readers that the tragedy was no accident.
According to a report on stuff.co.nz Ewan Wilson, a commercial pilot and journalist Geoff Taylor, said: “For the first time we present a detailed analysis of the flight, the incredible route it took, and who we believe was in charge of the aircraft as it plunged into the Indian Ocean.”
The book, called ‘Good Night Malaysian 370: The Truth behind the loss of Flight 370’ will shock readers, the report said.
The authors use a process of investigative elimination that removes all possible scenarios, except one.
‘Will not rest’
Malaysia’s government pledged on Monday that it “will not rest” until missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is found, as it marked the 100th day since the plane vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew.
“100 days after MH370 went missing, its loss remains a painful void in the hearts of all Malaysians and those around the world. We cannot and will not rest until MH370 is found,” Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said.
In a statement, Hishammuddin also promised that Malaysia “cannot and will not abandon” the families of the missing passengers, some of whom have sharply criticized the Malaysian government’s handling of the mystery.
The Boeing 777 inexplicably disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. No trace of it has been found despite an extensive Australian-led search effort deep in the Indian Ocean, where it is believed to have gone down.
Hishammuddin also offered Malaysia’s thanks to Australia, China, the United States and fellow Southeast Asian countries for their assistance in the search.
Malaysian Airlines CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya issued a separate statement pledging similar resolve in finding the plane, calling the period sinceMarch 8 “the longest and most painful 100 days in Malaysia Airlines’ history.”
Anguished relatives of MH370 passengers have accused Malaysia’s government of a bumbling and chaotic response to the crisis and covering up what happened to the plane.
Malaysia denies it is withholding information but has remained tight-lipped over investigations that it has launched into the mystery and given no timetable for when the findings of those probes will be released.
Promo of ‘missing plane’ film at Cannes… Click here
The director of a movie based on the Malaysian Airlines plane disappearance says he rushed the trailer of the project so he could bring it to the Cannes Film Festival.
“I was seeing the festival calendars and I could not miss Cannes. And so I told my team to make a trailer immediately,” said Rupesh Paul of his planned film, “The Vanishing Act.”
It wasn’t until he arrived at the festival that he faced questions over the timing of the film’s promotion and whether he was being sensitive to the families of the missing passengers.
“These things came in to my thoughts only after I came here,” said Paul, also a producer, in an interview on Saturday. “From the very first interview I was only asked about this fact that we did not even think of much when we were pitching this in India. Nobody asked this question in India actually. When we came to Europe this was the only question I faced.”
The 35-year-old director says he never thought his actions might upset anyone but insists “that nobody will be hurt (by) this movie.”
“Why should I gain out of somebody’s pain?” said Paul.
The trailer for “The Vanishing Act” shows two crew members kissing as a third looks at them angrily. It’s something the director says will not be included in the main feature.
“This trailer was not even meant to get released on the Internet online,” said Paul. “It was meant to show some investors and producers that the movie will be dramatic and thrilling. Somehow it got released, we had to give it to many people, it got out of my hands. And there is no love triangle in this movie at all and there is no romance in this movie.”
A handgun is also featured in the movie, but Paul said it isn’t what it seems.
“Everyone that has flown once on even a small flight will definitely understand that it is impossible to carry a gun inside, whatever you do,” he said. “So it’s impossible, but there is a weapon in the story.”
The director is keeping tight-lipped about his theory on how the plane disappeared and what will be shown in the film. He said that although he “cannot reveal the climax, it will not be a tragic climax.”
The trailer, which also shows commotion and horror on the plane, has garnered more than 300,000 views on YouTube.
Paul is aiming for a September release.”
“Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar
The existence of a secret, CIA-run prison on the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean has long been a leaky secret in the “War on Terror,” and today’s revelations in TIME — based on disclosures by a “senior American official” (now retired), who was “a frequent participant in White House Situation Room meetings” after the 9/11 attacks, and who reported that “a CIA counter-terrorism official twice said that a high-value prisoner or prisoners were being interrogated on the island” — will come as no surprise to those who have been studying the story closely.
The news will, however, be an embarrassment to the US government, which has persistently denied claims that it operated a secret “War on Terror” prison on Diego Garcia, and will be a source of even more consternation to the British government, which is more closely bound than its law-shredding Transatlantic neighbor to international laws and treaties preventing any kind of involvement whatsoever in kidnapping, “extraordinary rendition” and the practice of torture.
This is not the first time that TIME has exposed the existence of a secret prison on Diego Garcia. In 2003, the magazine broke the story that Hambali, one of 14 “high-value detainees” transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, was being held there, and in the years since confirmation has also come from other sources. Twice, in 2004 and 2006, Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star US general, who is now professor of international security studies at the West Point military academy, revealed the prison’s existence. In May 2004, he blithely declared on MSNBC’s Deborah Norville Tonight, “We’re probably holding around 3,000 people, you know, Bagram air field, Diego Garcia, Guantánamo, 16 camps throughout Iraq,” and in December 2006 he spoke out again, saying, in an NPR interview with Robert Siegel, “They’re behind bars … we’ve got them on Diego Garcia, in Bagram air field, in Guantánamo.”
The prison’s existence was also confirmed by Dick Marty, a Swiss senator who produced a detailed report on “extraordinary rendition” for the Council of Europe in June 2007 (PDF) and by Manfred Novak, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture, in March this year. Having spoken to senior CIA officers during his research, Marty told the European Parliament, “We have received concurring confirmations that United States agencies have used Diego Garcia, which is the international legal responsibility of the UK, in the ‘processing’ of high-value detainees,” and Manfred Novak explained to the Observer that “he had received credible evidence from well-placed sources familiar with the situation on the island that detainees were held on Diego Garcia between 2002 and 2003.” The penultimate piece of the jigsaw puzzle came in May, when El Pais broke the story that “ghost prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, whose current whereabouts are unknown, was imprisoned on the island in 2005, shortly after his capture in Pakistan — although the English-speaking press failed to notice.
Despite these previous disclosures, today’s article, by Adam Zagorin, is particularly striking because of the high-level nature of the source, and his admission that “the CIA officer surprised attendees by volunteering the information, apparently to demonstrate that the agency was doing its best to obtain valuable intelligence.” In addition, the source noted that “the US may also have kept prisoners on ships within Diego Garcia’s territorial waters, a contention the US has long denied.”
Zagorin also spoke to Richard Clarke (at the time the National Security Council’s Special Advisor to President Bush regarding counter-terrorism), who explained, “In my presence, in the White House, the possibility of using Diego Garcia for detaining high value targets was discussed.” Although Clarke “did not witness a final resolution of the issue,” he added, “Given everything that we know about the administration’s approach to the law on these matters, I find the report that the US did use the island for detention or interrogation entirely credible,” and he also pointed out that using the island for interrogations or detentions without British permission “is a violation of UK law, as well as of the bi-lateral agreement governing the island.”
Zagorin’s source did not name the prisoners, but it seems clear that the period he was referring to (“2002 and possibly 2003”) was when three particular “high-value detainees” — Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh — are reported to have been held on the island, and it seems entirely plausible, therefore, that after these three were transferred to another secret CIA facility in Poland, the prison was used not only to hold Hambali, but also to hold the two other “high-value detainees” captured with him — Mohammed bin Lep (aka Lillie) and Mohd Farik bin Amin (aka Zubair). The addition of Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, who, it seems, may have been held into 2006, not only confirms that a secret prison existed, but that it was possibly in use for four years straight.
These damaging revelations seal Diego Garcia’s reputation as a quagmire of injustice. A British sovereign territory — albeit one that was leased to the United States nearly 40 years ago, when the islanders were shamefully discarded by the British government and exiled to face destitution and death by misery in Mauritius — Diego Garcia has long been a source of shame to opponents of modern colonial activity. Until now, however, the only admission that any activities connected with the “War on Terror” had taken place on the island came in February, when, after years of denials on the part of the British government, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, finally conceded that requests for information from his US counterparts had revealed that, in 2002, two rendition flights had refuelled on the island. “In both cases,” Miliband stated with confidence, “a US plane with a single detainee on board refuelled at the US facility in Diego Garcia. The detainees did not leave the plane, and the US Government has assured us that no US detainees have ever been held on Diego Garcia.”
The British government had been provoked to action by critics within the UK, in particular the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, led by the Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, and the legal action charity Reprieve, which represents 30 prisoners in Guantánamo, but the story appeared to grind to a halt when Michael Hayden, the CIA’s director, stepped forward to deny that Diego Garcia had ever been used as a “War on Terror” prison.
“That is false,” Gen. Hayden said when asked if a secret prison had existed on Diego Garcia, adding, as the New York Times put it, that “neither of the two detainees carried aboard the rendition flights that refuelled at Diego Garcia ‘was ever part of the CIA’s high-value terrorist interrogation program.’” He also explained that one of the detainees “was ultimately transferred to Guantánamo,” while the other “was returned to his home country,” which was identified by State Department officials as Morocco. “These were rendition operations,” he added, “nothing more.”
Four weeks ago, however, the story resurfaced once more, as David Miliband reported the results of his latest request for information from his US counterparts. This concerned a list of rendition flights, which, in the opinion of Reprieve and the All-Party Parliamentary Group, may also have passed through British territory, but the Foreign Secretary was confident that there was no further evidence to be mined, stating, “The United States Government confirmed that, with the exception of two cases related to Diego Garcia in 2002, there have been no other instances in which US intelligence flights landed in the United Kingdom, our Overseas Territories, or the Crown Dependencies, with a detainee on board since 11 September 2001.”
Yet again, the assurances of his US colleagues did nothing to assuage the critics. Reprieve noted that the British government “intentionally failed to ask the right questions of the US, and accepted implausible US assurances at face value,” and added, presciently, “This remains a transatlantic cover-up of epic proportions. While the British government seems content to accept whatever nonsense it is fed by its US allies, the sordid truth about Diego Garcia’s central role in the unjust rendition and detention of prisoners in the so-called ‘War on Terror’ cannot be hidden forever.”
Just three days after David Miliband’s last attempt to draw a line under the story, the British Foreign Affairs Select Committee published its latest report on the British Overseas Territories (PDF), and was scathing about Diego Garcia, declaring that “it is deplorable that previous US assurances about rendition flights have turned out to be false. The failure of the United States Administration to tell the truth resulted in the UK Government inadvertently misleading our Select Committee and the House of Commons. We intend to examine further the extent of UK supervision of US activities on Diego Garcia, including all flights and ships serviced from Diego Garcia.”
Today’s revelations, of course, leave the US administration looking like bald-faced liars and the British government looking like myopic dupes. Whether Michael Hayden was also duped is not known, but his strenuous denial, just five months ago, that a secret prison existed, which was manned by his own employees, will do nothing for the credibility of the US administration, which likes to pretend that it does not torture and has nothing to conceal, but is persistently discovered not only being economical with the truth, but also behaving exactly as though it has guilty secrets to hide.
Whether this scandal will awaken much indignation in the American public remains to be seen, but it is hugely damaging to the British government, which is legally responsible for the activities that take place on its territory, however much it likes to hide behind “assurances” from its leaseholders that they have done nothing wrong.
It scarcely seems possible, but Diego Garcia’s dark history has suddenly grown even darker.
The prisoners held on Diego Garcia
Abu Zubaydah (Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn). Saudi, b. 1971. Seized in Faisalabad, Pakistan in a joint operation by Pakistani forces and the FBI on 28 March 2002, he is regarded by the administration as a senior al-Qaeda operative and training camp facilitator, although this has been disputed by former FBI interrogator Dan Coleman, who has described him as a minor logistician with a split personality.
In February 2008, Gen. Michael Hayden, the director of the CIA, admitted that Abu Zubaydah was one of three prisoners who had been subjected to waterboarding (an ancient torture technique that involves controlled drowning) in CIA custody. Held initially in Thailand, and later in Poland, he is one of 14 “high-value detainees” transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. At his tribunal in 2007, he denied being a member of al-Qaeda, and made a point of mentioning that he had been tortured. He has not yet been put forward for trial by Military Commission.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Kuwaiti/Pakistani, b. 1964 or 1965. The supposed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Mohammed (commonly known as KSM) was seized in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003. Like Abu Zubaydah, he was subjected to waterboarding, and is also presumed to have been held initially in Thailand, and later in Poland. Transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, he confessed to being “responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z” at his tribunal in 2007, but also made a point of mentioning that he had been tortured. He was put forward for trial by Military Commission in February, and will face the death penalty if convicted.
Rumors that KSM was held on Diego Garcia have surfaced sporadically over the years, one example being an article in the Toronto Star on July 2, 2005 (mirrored here), in which Lynda Hurst spoke to John Pike, a US defense analyst. Pike, who told Hurst that he believed that KSM had been held on Diego Garcia, explained, “Diego Garcia is an obvious place for a secret facility. They want somewhere that’s difficult to escape from, difficult to attack, not visible to prying eyes and where a lot of other activity is going on. Diego Garcia is ideal.”
Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Yemeni, b. 1972. A friend of the Hamburg cell that led the 9/11 attacks, bin al-Shibh was seized in a raid in Karachi, Pakistan on September 11, 2002. He was reportedly intended as the 20th hijacker, but was unable to obtain a visa to enter the United States, and subsequently worked closely with KSM in planning the attacks. Transferred to Guantanamo in September 2006, he is also presumed to have been held initially in Thailand, and later in Poland, but his presence on Diego Garcia has long been suspected, because analyses of flight records have revealed that a plane flew from Pakistan to Diego Garcia immediately after his capture. He refused to take part in his tribunal in 2007, but was put forward for trial by Military Commission in February, and will face the death penalty if convicted.
Hambali (Riduan Isamuddin). Indonesian, b. 1966. Seized in Ayutthaya, Thailand in a joint operation by Thai forces and the CIA on 11 August 2003, he is regarded as the main link between al-Qaeda and its Indonesian counterpart, Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). He is alleged to have been one of the planners of the Bali bombings in October 2002, which killed over 200 people, and was transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006. At his tribunal in 2007, he said that he resigned from JI in 2000, and was not involved with al-Qaeda or with any bombings or plots. He has not yet been put forward for trial by Military Commission.
Lillie (Mohammed Nazir bin Lep) and Zubair (Mohd Farik bin Amin). Malaysians, seized with Hambali, little is known of these two men, beyond claims by the administration that they worked closely with Hambali, although they were both discussed in another TIME article, in October 2003, which examined Hambali’s interrogation logs. They were transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, but have not yet been put forward for trial by Military Commission.
Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (Abu Musab al-Suri). Syrian/Spanish, b. 1958. Seized in Quetta, Pakistan in October 2005 and handed over to US forces a month later, he is not accused of being involved in direct attacks on US forces, but is wanted in Spain as a witness in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings. Regarded as one of the most significant proponents of universal jihad, his writings include a 1600-page book,The Global Islamic Resistance Call, which was published on the internet in 2004. A critic of al-Qaeda, he reportedly fell out with Osama bin Laden in 1998, and has stated that the 9/11 attacks were catastrophic for the jihadi cause. Unlike the six prisoners mentioned above, he was not transferred to Guantánamo in September 2006, and it is not known, therefore, whether he is being held in a secret CIA prison or if he has been rendered to a third country.
Field McConnell, United States Naval Academy, 1971; Forensic Economist; 30 year airline and 22 year military pilot; 23,000 hours of safety; Tel: 715 307 8222
David Hawkins Tel: 604 542-0891 Forensic Economist; former leader of oil-well blow-out teams; now sponsors Grand Juries in CSI Crime and Safety Investigation