A senior al-Qaeda commander in contact with British human rights workers has reportedly committed suicide in jail in Libya.
By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 11:32PM BST 11 May 2009
Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, whose real name was Ali Mohammed al-Fakheri, 46, took his own life in his prison cell, according to the Libyan newspaper Oea.
Information gained from the interrogation of al-Libi was cited on several occasions by the Bush administration as justification for the war in Iraq.
He told his CIA interrogators that al-Qaeda had sent two men to Iraq to seek training in chemical and biological weapons in December 2000. Classified documents added that the men did not return, so al-Libi did not know whether the training took place, and that, in any case, he was probably "intentionally misleading the debriefers".
Al-Libi recanted the story in January 2004, although George Tenet, the former director of the CIA, wrote later: "The fact is, we don't know which story is true, and since we don't know, we can assume nothing."
Noman Benotman, a Libyan who was once close to al-Libi, said two years ago that al-Libi had been sent to Libya, adding that he was "extremely ill, suffering from tuberculosis and diabetes".
Al-Libi was said to be involved with Abu Zubaydah in running the Khalden, training camp in Afghanistan, where Zacarias Moussaoui, a member of the September 11 gang, received instruction.
He was captured in Pakistan in early 2002 and sent first to Kanadahar in Afghanistan, then to the USS Bataan and finally to Guantanamo Bay, before he was sent to Egypt for further interrogation.
He had been visited recently by a team from Human Rights Watch at the Fakheri in jail in Libya, and had been in contact with the legal charity Reprieve.
Clive Stafford Smith from Reprieve, said: "We are told that al Libi committed suicide in his Libyan prison. If this is true it would be because of his torture and abuse, if false, it may reflect a desire to silence one of the greatest embarrassments of the Bush Administration.
"Reprieve has been exploring tentative contacts with al Libi, and his death may have been a result of the pressure to allow him to speak openly about his torture."
Click to view image: '26330b755f0d-allibi_med.jpg'
|Liveleak on Facebook|