Accused war criminal Taylor ‘worked with CIA’
Liberia’s ex-president, now on trial in The Hague, worked with US intelligence agencies, officials admit.
By Chris Arsenault
January 21, 2012
He stands accused of funding rebels who hacked the arms off small children, smuggling blood diamonds, keeping sex slaves and torturing his opponents, but former Liberian President Charles Taylor also had another career – providing information to US intelligence agencies, according to information obtained by the Boston Globe newspaper.
Today, Taylor is jailed in The Hague as the first former African leader to face international prosecution from the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. In the 1990s, he was allegedly responsible for wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, which killed more than 250,000 people.
“It’s an intriguing development,” Will Reno, a professor at Northwestern University who studies political violence in Africa, told Al Jazeera. “Was the US still supporting him when he was responsible for all of these human rights abuses? Did the US contribute to that?”
While the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon’s spy arm, confirmed its agents and CIA agents worked with Taylor in the 1980s, they would not reveal details of the relationship on national security grounds.