Indictments Sought for 26 Americans Over Cleric's Abduction From Italy

An Italian prosecutor asked on Tuesday for the indictment of 26 Americans and Italian secret service officials on a charge of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric in Milan in 2003.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro, who has been leading the investigation, said the indictment request is aimed at CIA agents and the former head of the Italian military intelligence for alleged involvement in the kidnapping.

All but one of the Americans have been identified by the prosecution as CIA agents, including former station chiefs in Rome and Milan, and the 26th as a U.S. Air Force officer stationed at the time at Aviano air base near Venice.

Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, an Egyptian cleric and terrorist suspect, also known as Abu Omar, was allegedly abducted from a Milan street in February 2003 and flown out of Italy from Aviano.

The operation is believed to be part of an alleged CIA "extraordinary rendition" program in which terrorism suspects are transferred to third countries where some allegedly are subjected to torture.

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