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Italian Police Detain 2 Intelligence Officials in CIA Kidnapping Probe


Police in Italy have detained two senior Italian intelligence officers on suspicion of having a role in the kidnapping of an terrorism suspect by U.S. agents three years ago.

Prosecutors in Milan announced the detention of the two officials and said a judge had issued arrest warrants for four Americans in the case. Italian news media reports named one of those detained as Marco Mancini, a director of the SISMI, Italy's intelligence agency.

The prosecutors identified three of the Americans named in the warrants as U.S. Central Intelligence Agency agents and the fourth as an employee at the U.S. Aviano airbase in northeastern Italy.

The prosecutors say CIA agents kidnapped Egyptian cleric Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr (also known as Abu Omar) from a Milan street in 2003. They accuse them of flying him to Egypt, where Nasr says he was tortured.

The prosecutors are seeking the extradition of another 22 purported CIA agents in connection with the kidnapping investigation.

Italian judicial officials say they were investigating Nasr in 2003 for suspected ties to al-Qaida, and they say his alleged abduction by the CIA ruined a promising investigation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.