Extraordinary Rendition is the practice of transporting suspected foreign terrorists or other individuals suspected for crimes, to third countries for interrogation and imprisonment. The purpose of extraordinary rendition is to gather intelligence information from suspects, who are sent either to facilities maintained by the United States or put into the custody of foreign governments. Suspects are transported to countries where safeguards against torture and abusive treatment are looser than in the United States. Extraordinary rendition thus permits the torture and other practices of detained suspects, despite the fact that torture is illegal according to international law, under any circumstances.
The covert practice of extraordinary rendition began in the 1990s. However, its increasing use for terrorism suspects since the 9/11 attacks has put it into public view. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, "The current policy traces its roots to the administration of former President Bill Clinton. Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, however, what had been a limited program expanded dramatically, with some experts estimating that 150 foreign nationals have been victims of rendition in the last few years alone. Foreign nationals suspected of terrorism have been transported to detention and interrogation facilities in Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Diego Garcia, Afghanistan, Guantánamo, and elsewhere. In the words of former CIA agent Robert Baer: "If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear -- never to see them again -- you send them to Egypt."