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The convoluted relationship between the U.S. and Somalia — which has quietly become a central front in the ever-expanding military campaign against Al Qaeda — just got even messier. According to a report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation, U.S. intelligence forces have built a training facility and a secret prison in the capital of Mogadishu. Former prisoners, some of whom spent more than a year in the underground prison facility, reported deplorable, unsanitary conditions and interrogations by Somali, American and French intelligence agents. Because U.S. officials have directly hired and paid the Somali operatives who run the site, it is what one prisoner’s lawyer calls “a decentralized, out-sourced Guantanamo Bay in central Mogadishu.”

Scahill writes that the prison is “buried in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab [an Islamic militant group with close ties to Al Qaeda] members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

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