Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reportedly, British spies working at Alliance Base, near Paris, help with extraordinary renditions.

According to the Mail on Sunday, 29 January 2006, British spies are reportedly involved in helping the CIA to take terror suspects to torture centres. There are claims that British spies are working at an army barracks outside Paris, the Alliance Base, which coordinates the extraordinary renditions.

Help From France Key In Covert Operations

The Washington Post, 3 July 2005, claimed that, according to US and European intelligence sources, a top secret centre in Paris, code-named Alliance Base, was set up by the CIA and French intelligence services in 2002.

Funded largely by the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, Alliance Base analyzes the transnational movement of terrorist suspects and develops operations to catch or spy on them...

Most French officials and other intelligence veterans would talk about the partnership only if their names were withheld because the specifics are classified and the politics are sensitive. John E. McLaughlin, the former acting CIA director who retired recently after a 32-year career, described the relationship between the CIA and its French counterparts as "one of the best in the world. What they are willing to contribute is extraordinarily valuable."

The rarely discussed Langley-Paris connection also belies the public portrayal of acrimony between the two countries that erupted over the invasion of Iraq. Within the Bush administration, the discord was amplified by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who has claimed the lead role in the administration's "global war on terrorism" and has sought to give the military more of a part in it.

But even as Rumsfeld was criticizing France in early 2003 for not doing its share in fighting terrorism, his U.S. Special Operations Command was finalizing a secret arrangement to put 200 French special forces under U.S. command in Afghanistan. Beginning in July 2003, its commanders have worked side by side there with U.S. commanders and CIA and National Security Agency representatives.

Alliance Base, headed by a French general assigned to France's equivalent of the CIA -- the General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) -- was described by six U.S. and foreign intelligence specialists with involvement in its activities. The base is unique in the world because it is multinational and actually plans operations instead of sharing information among countries, they said. It has case officers from Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States.


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