UK - Renewed fears over terrorist renditions after flight to Guantanamo lands at RAF base
|CIA Renditions , U.S.A. , UK|
By Jason Lewis
Last updated at 9:01 AM on 04th August 2008
Fears that the UK is still being used as a stop-off point for the CIA’s controversial terrorist renditions resurfaced last week when a flight to Guantanamo Bay landed at an RAF base.
Mystery surrounds the mission of the US military aircraft which touched down at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk last Sunday amid tight security, refuelled and then flew on to the prison camp in Cuba.
The Government denies that it has allowed America to use British airports as part of its rendition policy used to move terror suspects to interrogation centres around the globe. However, a fleet of aircraft linked to the programme have been flying in and out of Britain, unchecked by the UK authorities.
A US Air Force C-17A Globemaster plane, like the one pictured above, raised suspicion last week when it flew in from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey
Last week a US Air Force C-17A Globemaster became the latest to raise suspicion after it flew in from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, regularly used as a routine ‘stop-over’ for military flights from Afghanistan. Local plane spotters noted an increased level of security around the huge four-engine jet before two refuelling bowsers pulled up alongside it.
Last night a Foreign Office spokesman said: ‘The US cannot carry out renditions through the UK or UK overseas territories without the express permission of the British Government. We have received no requests for such an authorisation.’
He added that last week’s US military flight had ‘stopped at Mildenhall for refuelling’, and that its arrival and departure was covered by the Open Skies agreement between Britain and America which allows military aircraft to overfly and refuel without the need
for prior permission.
Earlier this year Foreign Secretary David Miliband admitted that two US flights carrying terrorist suspects refuelled at the airbase on the British Indian Ocean territory of Diego Garcia in 2002.