Washington, Dec 9: Information gained through interrogation of detainees resulted in the finding of Osama bin Laden, the CIA said after an explosive US Senate report today alleged the spy agency's torturing did not yield any substantial information.
In a statement, the CIA said its reviews indicate that the program, including interrogations of detainees on whom enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) were used, did produce valuable intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives. "For instance, information that CIA obtained from detainees played a role, in combination with other streams of intelligence, in finding Osama bin Laden," the CIA said.
"Information from detainees in CIA custody relating to the involvement of courier Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti in delivering messages to and from bin Laden fundamentally changed our assessment of his potential importance to our hunt for bin Laden," it said. The spy agency said that Ammar al-Baluchi, after undergoing EITs, was the first detainee to reveal that Abu Ahmad al-Kuwaiti served as a courier for bin Laden after he had departed Afghanistan, it said.
"This information prompted CIA to re-question other detainees on Abu Ahmad's role, to review previous reporting in light of this information, and to increase the focus of Abu Ahmad's role in our questioning," the spy agency said.
"CIA then combined this information with reporting from other streams to build a profile of Abu Ahmad's experiences, family, and characteristics that allowed us to eventually determine his true name and location," it said.
Republican Senator John McCain said there was considerable misinformation disseminated then about what was and was not achieved using these methods in an effort to discourage support for the legislation. "There was a good amount of misinformation used in 2011 to credit the use of these methods with the death of Osama bin Laden.
"And there is, I fear, misinformation being used today to prevent the release of this report, disputing its findings and warning about the security consequences of their public disclosure," he said on the Senate floor.