The information contradicts assurances given last week by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern, that Ireland's Shannon airport had not been used for "untoward" purposes, or as a transit point for terror suspects.
Amnesty international has obtained flight records for six CIA-chartered planes from September 2001 to September of 2005. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration over this period, these planes landed 50 times in Shannon and took off 35 times, suggesting that some flights were kept secret. Although Shannon airport is used as a refuelling stop for the US military, none of the planes were military transport planes. In total for this period, the six planes made some 800 flights originating or landing in Europe.
The planes include:
Amnesty International is publishing the information after a challenge by the Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern on Thursday last week. Asked about CIA planes using Shannon airport, the Foreign Minister said, "If anyone has any evidence of any of these flights please give me a call and I will have it immediately investigated." On 17 Feb 2003, for instance, the Gulfstream IV, N85VM took Abu Omar from Ramstein to Cairo, then turned around and flew to Shannon, arriving at 0552 on the 18th.
The latest information confirms other persistent and reliable reports in the media and by non-governmental organizations that CIA-chartered flights are used for renditions. Amnesty International only has partial flight logs for six planes whilst the CIA has been reported to use some 30 leased aircraft.
Start Date: 2005-12-05 19:00:00-05
End Date: 2006-01-04 19:00:00-05
Created By: Zak Martin