CIA used ‘truth serum’ on 9/11 suspect after waterboarding failed

Newly declassified documents show the CIA looked to use a “truth serum” for a suspected senior Al-Qaeda after they failed to break him with waterboarding.

Desperate agents explored giving Abu Zubaydah – and several other alleged terrorists – the drug after believing he held vital information about possible future terror attacks.

The CIA maintained he was one of Al-Qaeda’s top operatives who helped plot the attacks on September 11, 2001.

A newly released 90-page account details the existence of a drug research program called "Project Medication" and discloses how the CIA’s Office of Medical Services maintained a key role in the development of detention and interrogation practices.

Specifically, the papers, which were released after a lengthy Freedom of Information battle, reveal agents researched the possibility of using a psychoactive drug called Versed to interrogate high-level prisoners.

"The history reveals that CIA doctors were hunting for a ‘truth serum’ to use on prisoners as part of a previously secret effort called Project Medication," American Civil Liberties Union staff attorney Dror Ladin said in a statement.

The lawyer added the records showed CIA doctors were "indispensable" to the effort of "legitimizing the program.”

Abu Zubaydah’s capture in Pakistan in 2002 prompted the CIA under President George W. Bush to create the interrogation program, now widely viewed as torture, in the false belief, he had information about Al-Qaeda he had not already provided to the FBI.

The CIA believed he was one of the most senior figures in Al-Qaeda when he was captured.

But Abu Zubaydah is now described in U.S. documents as a “well-known al-Qaeda facilitator.”

His lawyers deny he was a member of the terrorist organisation.

Last year, Donald Trump ignited a row over the use of waterboarding after claiming intelligence professionals told him it "absolutely works.”

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