Sweden stopped CIA rendition flights

In the latest revelation from Wikileaks regarding Sweden, the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports Sunday that an acute diplomatic crisis broke out between Sweden and the United States in 2006 when the Swedish authorities discovered that two of the CIA’s controversial extraordinary rendition flights made stopovers at Stockholm’s Arlanda International Airport.

The suspected prisoner transfers were confirmed, the newspaper reports, when members of Swedish Military Intelligence posed as airport personnel and boarded one of the planes.

The CIA’s rendition of two Egyptians from Sweden to Cairo in late 2001 was exposed a year later, and resulted in condemnations, both by international organizations and Swedish officials, after reports the prisoners were abused on the American plane and tortured in Egypt.’

Among the Wikileaks documents is a report from the then-charge d’affaires at the American Embassy in Stockholm, Steven V. Noble. He writes that five days before the second flight was to have landed on April 4, 2006, he was called to the Swedish Foreign Ministry, where he was questioned about the planned stopover. The Swedish military later gave the Americans a list of questions about the flight, and set down rules for stopovers.

Svenska Dagbladet reports that after the military intelligence personnel boarded the April 4 flight and their report indicated the rules had not been followed, the Swedish government reacted strongly. The press spokesman for the Swedish police Intelligence Service Patrik Peter has confirmed parts of the newspaper report, and Svenska Dagbladet says as far as it can tell there have been no more extraordinary rendition flights landing in Sweden since.