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British led to al-Qaida chief 'through torture of suspect'

By Jonathan Owen

British authorities used information obtained following the torture of Moazzam Begg to help capture al-Qaida's top UK operative, it was claimed last night.

Previously secret CIA files reveal for the first time that intelligence provided to the US by Mr Begg while he was being held in Guantanamo Bay helped identify and locate "dirty bomber" Dhiren Barot in 2004.

This week's Senate report into CIA torture found that "enhanced interrogation techniques" applied to Guantanamo detainees, including the man behind the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, were not central to Barot's arrest, or any other significant breakthrough.

However, the report also describes how drawings made by Mr Begg -who claims to have been beaten and deprived of sleep in Guantanamo Bay, although not waterboarded - helped lead British security services to Barot.

The information sheds new light on the way in which British and US intelligence officials shared information obtained from people mistreated in detention. Last night, lawyers for Mr Begg rejected any suggestion that he "volunteered or co-operated in the provision of information to any intelligence service" - maintaining his treatment also amounted to torture.

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