UK spies told to ignore US detainee abuse after 9/11 inquiry
LONDON (REUTERS) - British intelligence officers in Afghanistan knew about the mistreatment of suspected militants by the United States after the September 11, 2001 attacks, but were told not to intervene for fear of offending Washington, an inquiry found on Thursday.
In a series of episodes which the government said had damaged Britain's international reputation, the report also found that British spies had been involved in the US practice of "rendition", in which captured militants were transferred without legal process to third countries.
"Documents indicate that in some instances UK intelligence officers were aware of inappropriate interrogation techniques,"the report said. "(The) government or its agencies may have become inappropriately involved in some cases of rendition." Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry in 2010 to examine if British agents worked with foreign security services, including from the United States, who stand accused of abusing detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.
He was responding to allegations of torture, mistreatment and illegal transfers that have prompted a global debate about intelligence services' methods and accountability.