CBC In Depth
Al-Qaeda Family: The Abdurahman tour of Afghanistan
CBC News Online | March 4, 2004

Abdurahman Khadr with his lawyer, Rocco Galati
Abdurahman Khadr came to the attention of Canadians last November when he returned to Canada after his release from the U.S. prison Camp in Guantanamo, Cuba.

At a news conference with his lawyer, Rocco Galati, he claimed the Americans had released him in Kabul. He said he made his way through Pakistan, Turkey, Bulgaria and finally to Bosnia, trying all the way to obtain help from Canadian embassies. He denied that his family had any connection to al-Qaeda.

Now he is admitting that was all a lie.

"Why am I telling the story right now? Because I�cannot keep it in my heart anymore. I got to tell people I lied to them in the beginning�I want the people to learn that I lied for a reason and I'm sorry to have lied to them and I want to tell them the real story."

So why should anyone believe him?

"I cannot force anyone to believe me. I'm just saying that�this time I'm saying the truth. That is all the truth there is to it. Since I said this story I know there's going to be people after me. My family is going to hate me. Why do you think I would do all of this if it was just a lie?"

Abdurahman Khadr was taken prisoner in Kabul in November 2001 during the chaotic period that followed the fall of the Taliban regime.

He was in and out of several prisons before he was handed to the Americans for interrogation.

He mentions the names of many CIA and FBI agents he would encounter in the next two years. To protect the identity of those agents we have chosen to name them by letter, such as "Agent A."

He remembers the first two U.S. interrogators he encountered.

"They took me upstairs and they took me into a room. There's two people. [Agent A] from the FBI and [Agent B] from the CIA. I don't know if they were meaning to play this game on me but they were playing the good cop/bad cop game on me.

"In a week or two, they started trusting me more. They asked me 'would you like to work for U.S., would you like to go with the troops in Afghanistan to the front lines � and � tell us who the people we capture are?' It was my first time in this situation and I was scared of jail and I said, 'I'll do anything.'"

For several months, Abdurahman travelled regularly around Kabul with American investigators and visitors.

"There was this tour. They called it Abdurahman tour," he said. " I was famous for that. I took people from the CIA, the FBI, and the military. We'd go around in a car in Kabul and I'd show them the houses of al-Qaeda people, the guesthouses, the safe houses - the house they used [before September 11] and the houses they used after."

U.S. embassy in Kabul
Abdurahman says he lived for nine months in a CIA safe house near the American embassy in Kabul. One day he was told that he was going to meet some visitors from Canada - four policemen who said they were from Toronto and Ottawa.

"They had me swear on the Koran that I would tell them the truth, the whole truth. They started asking me questions about my father, the organization he was working for, how he was connected to al-Qaeda, about my uncle, here in Canada, about my grandmother, about anybody that's related to us in any way.

"They stayed for two days. When they were done with me they told me 'you've been very cooperative. You've told us everything you knew. We think we can trust you and the minute we get [get back to Canada] we're going to try our best to get you back.'

"They showed me badges, told me they were from the RCMP."

Abdurahman would not hear from the Canadians for another 18 months. He assumed they had abandoned him. In the summer of 2003, he says he received a financial offer from the CIA.

"They brought me a paper. They said '[this] $5,000 bonus is for you being very co-operative, and from now on by just answering our questions, you'll get paid $3,000 a month, until you stop working for us,'" he said. "The paper said I would get paid until someone found out about this."

The paper said he'd be working for the CIA.

Abdurahman says during his time in American custody, the CIA agents would only give him their first names. He says he bonded with one of them, a woman.

"[Agent C] was the one I worked longest with. I worked with her for almost nine months. And she became really dear to my heart. She became a really good friend to me."


AL-QAEDA FAMILY: The firefight at Waziristan A family divided At home with Osama bin Laden The black sheep Al-Qaeda attacks The Abdurahman tour of Afghanistan Going to Guantanamo Working for the CIA Coming home


  • Ahmed Said Khadr
  • Maha Khadr
  • Zaynab Khadr
  • Abdullah Khadr
  • Abdurahman Khadr
  • Omar Khadr
  • Abdul Karim Khadr
    The Recruiters

    Indepth: Afghanistan

    Guantanamo Bay

    On The Current Anna Maria Tremonti talks to CBC TV reporter Darrow MacIntyre about Ahmed Khadr.
    (Real Audio | Runs 12:00)

    Rex Murphy:
    The rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship

    Nazim Baksh:
    Abdurahman Khadr: mischief or terror?

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