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CIA paid me to spy: Abdurahman Khadr

Last Updated Fri, 05 Mar 2004 0:35:04

TORONTO - A Canadian man who says his family was connected to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda says he spent months working for the CIA as an informant.

Abdurahman Khadr made the comments Thursday in a documentary aired on CBC's The National.

In the first part of the documentary, aired on Wednesday, Abdurahman told CBC his father was old friends with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and that he and his brothers attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

Abdurahman says he was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan when the Taliban fell in November 2001. He lived in a CIA safehouse in Kabul for months, showing intelligence agents al-Qaeda locations around the city.

"There was this tour. They called it Abdurahman tour," he said. "I was famous for that."

Abdurahman says the CIA sent him to Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to spy on other inmates. When that failed, he says he was sent to Bosnia – on the CIA's payroll – to spy on suspected al-Qaeda members.

"You see how much people are working with them, what they're doing. They're buying weapons, they're selling weapons, they're recruiting people. You know, information, just any information at all," said Abdurahman.

When he asked to return to Canada, Abdurahman says the CIA dropped him off at the Canadian embassy in Sarajevo after making him promise to keep his CIA activities secret.

Aly Hindy

Aly Hindy, a Toronto imam and friend of the Khadr family, says he is appalled by what he has seen on the documentary. He hopes there isn't a backlash against Canada's Muslim community.

"It's very damaging for the family. I don't see how they could come back to Canada," said Hindy. "It's also damaging for all the people who supported them."

Some opposition politicians say the family shouldn't have the chance to return. Conservative MP Stockwell Day says the remaining Khadr family members should be barred from Canada.

"We have to signal to our allies that we are serious about fighting the war against terrorism and we will not put political considerations first. We'll put safety and security first," said Day.

Prime Minister Paul Martin says it's confidential whether Canadian intelligence agencies knew about the Khadr family's terrorist connections, but says it's a good example of why Canada is investing more in intelligence.

"[The] reason we created a new ministry of Public Safety [and Emergency Preparedness] is an indication of our response to the world in which we now live," said Martin. "We have focused on a border strategy, and greater funding of intelligence."

Abdurahman's mother, Maha, sister, Zaynab, and younger brother, Karim, are in Pakistan, living on handouts from friends. His brother Abdullah is believed hiding in Pakistan and brother Omar is a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. His father, Ahmed Said Khadr, was killed in an October 2003 shootout in Pakistan.

Written by CBC News Online staff

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