The Abu Omar Case was the abduction and transfer to Egypt of the Imam of Milan Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. The case was picked by the international media as one of the better-documented cases of extraordinary rendition carried out in a joint operation by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) in the context of the "global war on terrorism" declared by the Bush administration.

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  • The Abu Omar Case was the abduction and transfer to Egypt of the Imam of Milan Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. The case was picked by the international media as one of the better-documented cases of extraordinary rendition carried out in a joint operation by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) in the context of the "global war on terrorism" declared by the Bush administration. Abu Omar was abducted on February 17, 2003, in Milan by agents of the SISMI and CIA, and transported to the Aviano Air Base, from which he was transferred to Egypt, where he was imprisoned for four years without charges, secluded, interrogated and "brutally tortured by America's long-standing ally, the Mubarak regime." The CIA operation interrupted a surveillance program that was being carried out by Italian authorities into Nasr's alleged participation in Islamist organizations. Hassan Nasr was released by an Egyptian court in February 2007, which ruled that his detention was "unfounded". He has been indicted for international terrorism offenses in Italy since 2005. The Italian government originally denied having played any role in the abduction. However, Italian prosecutors Armando Spataro and Ferdinand Enrico Pomarici indicted 26 CIA agents, including the Rome station chief and head of CIA in Italy until 2003, Jeffrey W. Castelli, and Milan chief of base Robert Seldon Lady, as well as SISMI head General Nicolò Pollari, his second Marco Mancini and station chiefs Raffaele Ditroia, Luciano Di Gregori and Giuseppe Ciorra. Referring to the Italian military intelligence agency, the Italian press has talked of a "CIA-SISMI concerted operation." The prosecutors sent extradition requests for the indicted American citizens to the Italian Ministry of Justice, then headed by Roberto Castelli, for onward transmission to Washington. However, Castelli refused to forward the demand for extradition. The affair also created controversy within the CIA when the story came to light in 2005. Porter J. Goss, the director of the CIA at the time, ordered the agency's independent inspector general to begin a review of the operation. Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then head of the National Clandestine Service (NCS), stopped the inspector general's review, stating that the NCS would investigate itself. In June 2009, Robert Seldon Lady, Milan CIA chief of base at the time, said"I'm not guilty. I'm only responsible for carrying out orders that I received from my superiors." CIA officer Sabrina DeSousa, sentenced to five years in prison, said that the United States "broke the law ... and we are paying for the mistakes right now". On February 12, 2013, the Court of Appeal in Milan sentenced former SISMI director Nicolò Pollari, his deputy director Marco Mancini, former Rome CIA station chief Castelli and two other CIA employees to up to 10 years in jail. Pollari has announced he will appeal against this ruling at the Corte Suprema di Cassazione. On February 24, 2014, the Corte Suprema di Cassazione, following a sentence of the Italian Corte Costituzionale regarding the use of secret evidence in the proceedings, acquitted Pollari and Mancini. (en)
  • Il caso Abu Omar fa riferimento al sequestro di persona e trasferimento in Egitto, suo paese di origine, dell'imam di Milano, il cui nome all'anagrafe è Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. La questione è stata riportata dalla stampa internazionale come uno dei più noti e meglio documentati casi di azione illegale eseguiti dai servizi segreti statunitensi nel contesto della guerra globale al terrorismo. (it)
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  • Il caso Abu Omar fa riferimento al sequestro di persona e trasferimento in Egitto, suo paese di origine, dell'imam di Milano, il cui nome all'anagrafe è Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr. La questione è stata riportata dalla stampa internazionale come uno dei più noti e meglio documentati casi di azione illegale eseguiti dai servizi segreti statunitensi nel contesto della guerra globale al terrorismo. (it)
  • The Abu Omar Case was the abduction and transfer to Egypt of the Imam of Milan Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. The case was picked by the international media as one of the better-documented cases of extraordinary rendition carried out in a joint operation by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Italian Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISMI) in the context of the "global war on terrorism" declared by the Bush administration. (en)
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  • Abu Omar case (en)
  • Caso Abu Omar (it)
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