MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - At least four of the hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State, including executed American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early stage of their captivity, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
The Islamic State militants had reportedly borrowed the technique from the CIA, which adopted waterboarding when interrogating Al-Qaeda suspects in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Waterboarding is classified as a torture by Amnesty International and a wide range of other human rights organizations: captives have water poured over their noses and mouths until they feel as if they are suffocating.
Three Americans and around ten other western hostages are still being held by the militant group, according to sources. One of them told the Washington Post on condition of anonymity that Foley and the other captives had been held in Raqqa, Syria.
Agence France-Presse quoted its own source as saying that at least one hostage had been waterboarded.
Used as an interrogation technique during George Bush’s so-called “war on terror” on 9/11 related criminals such as the notorious Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, waterboarding was later banned under Barack Obama, who deemed it to be torture.
“Waterboarding dates to the Spanish Inquisition and has been a favorite of dictators through the ages, including Pol Pot and the regime in Burma,” Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) said in an op-ed in 2008, cited by The Washington Post. “Condoning torture opens the door for our enemies to do the same to captured American troops in the future.”
Last week the Islamic State released a horrendous video of Foley’s execution. The footage shows a masked fighter addressing the US President and saying the journalist's murder was in retaliation for US air attacks against the Islamic State in Iraq.