Today on Democracy Now!, The Nation investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill provides Yves van Loo, an International Committee of the Red Cross spokesperson, with the location of the secret prison used by the CIA he uncovered in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, which the Red Cross says it did not know existed.
"There are scores of people that have been held without charge in this basement and some for more than 18 months," Scahill says. "The Red Cross should be insisting on access to the prison, which is within [a] Somali government compound."
Scahill has just returned from assignment in Somalia. In an investigative report published by The Nation magazine, Scahill reveals the CIA is using a secret facility in Somalia for counterterrorism as well as an underground prison in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Scahill says the CIA is training a new Somali force to conduct operations in the areas controlled by the militant group, Al Shabab, and in Mogadishu. While a U.S. official told The Nation that the CIA does not run the prison, he acknowledged the CIA pays the salaries of Somali agents.
"Well, I traveled to Somalia with Rick Rowley from Big Noise Films. He's a filmmaker. And we were there for about 10 days. We were investigating the institution of targeted killing that is increasingly present in the U.S. national security strategy, particularly under President Obama," Scahill says.
"And when we arrived in Mogadishu, within days, we discovered that the CIA had just finished construction of a pretty massive compound at the Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu. And the compound, which is not even hidden in plain sight--it's just in plain sight--looks like a gated community. It has about a dozen buildings inside of it, brand new. It's a walled compound with guard posts at all of its--at each of its four corners. It's right on the banks of the Indian Ocean. And then next to it there are six or eight small hangars. And the CIA also has its own aircraft there," Scahill says.
"I was able to track down a senior Somali intelligence official and began the process of investigating this facility. And what I discovered is that the CIA is training what was described to me as an indigenous strike force, members of Somalia's National Security Agency, its intelligence division, to conduct operations in the areas controlled by the Shabab in Mogadishu," Scahill says.