Police said Friday they have launched a criminal investigation to determine if British intelligence officers were aware of the treatment of a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who claims he was tortured while being detained in Guantanamo, Pakistan and Morocco.
Binyam Mohamed — an Ethiopian who moved to Britain as a teenager — was arrested as a suspected terrorist in 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan, and alleges that during three months of detention he was tortured by Pakistani agents and interrogated by the FBI and MI5, Britain's domestic security agency.
Mohamed claims he was then taken to Morocco as part of the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" program and that his torturers there were being fed questions and material by British intelligence agents.
From there, Mohamed claims he was transferred to the Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba in 2004 and beaten there. He was released from Guantanamo without being charged in February.
British officials have not investigated Mohamed's allegations about his treatment outside the UK, but in March, British Attorney General Patricia Scotland said she had asked London's police force to consider Mohamed's allegation that MI5 officers were aware he had been tortured. She asked police to investigate whether there was evidence that intelligence officers or others should face criminal charges.
London's Metropolitan Police force said Friday it has launched a criminal investigation led by Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers.
"The Metropolitan Police service was invited by the attorney general to investigate allegations surrounding the detention of Binyam Mohamed," the police said in a statement. "The papers were reviewed by the MPS and the investigation accepted."