Thailand on Thursday denied a report that it has hosted one of eight secret U.S. prisons around the world for interrogating terrorist suspects. The government spokesman demanded that the Washington Post offer an explanation of how it identified Thailand as one of the sites for holding terrorist suspects being secretly interrogated by CIA operatives.
"The Foreign Ministry will coordinate with the Washington Post and we are demanding the Post publish a clarification that their report on the secret jail is not true," spokesman Suraphong Suebwonglee told The Associated Press.
According to the Post report Tuesday, the alleged Thai site was part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago which at various times included sites in eight countries, including Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe. It quoted current and former intelligence officials and diplomats as sources for its story.
Suraphong said that building a such a jail with US$100 million (Ђ82.8 million) allegedly provided to the Thai government by the U.S. was not possible in an "open country" like Thailand.
The Post said the alleged secret global internment network was a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism, depending on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public.
Thailand has cooperated closely with the United States in its war on terror and helped CIA agents capture Hambali, alleged to be one of Southeast Asia's top terrorists, in 2003. After the capture, he was whisked away by U.S. authorities and is being held at an undisclosed location, reports the AP. I.L.