IMAGE: Attack on USS Cole
Hasan Jamali  /  AP file
Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in October 2000 when an explosives-laden boat rammed into the USS Cole in the harbor of Aden, Yemen.
updated 3/30/2007 12:08:43 PM ET 2007-03-30T16:08:43

A suspected Saudi terrorist told a military hearing that he was tortured into confessing that he was involved in the bombing of the warship USS Cole, according to a Defense Department transcript released Friday.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national of Yemeni descent, said he made up stories that tied him to the Cole attack, which killed 17 U.S. sailors and nearly succeeded in sinking the $1 billion destroyer in Aden harbor, Yemen.

"From the time I was arrested five years ago, they have been torturing me. It happened during interviews. One time they tortured me one way, and another time they tortured me in a different way," al-Nashiri said, according to the transcript. "I just said those things to make the people happy. They were very happy when I told them those things."

Portions of the 36-page hearing transcript were edited out, and it does not include any details of the torture al-Nashiri said took place over five years. Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said that any allegations of torture would be investigated. He said sections were blacked out of the transcript because of national security reasons.

Al-Nashiri is one of 14 so-called high-value detainees that were moved to Guantanamo in September from secret Central Intelligence Agency prisons abroad. The military is conducting hearings for the 14 to determine if they are enemy combatants, who can be held indefinitely and prosecuted for war crimes.

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