Sabrina de Sousa, a former CIA officer convicted in absentia over the 2003 kidnapping of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (aka Abu Omar), left Italy over fears of her safety, Fox News reported.
De Sousa said she made her decision in the wake of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel’s visit to Rome earlier this month, according to an Il Corriere Della Sera report
“I was terrified of the consequences that I could face,” De Sousa said. “The arrival of Haspel in Italy confirmed to the Italian government that the US administration had washed its hands of my case.”
It is unclear how the visit was connected to her case. Speaking to Il Corriere della Sera, de Sousa promised to reveal more details, thanks to “recent changes to the Whistleblower Act.”
De Sousa was one of 26 people convicted in Italy for Abu Omar’s kidnapping. She denied her involvement but was the only one sentenced for the abduction, the Fox report says.
In 2017, Italian President Sergio Mattarella pardoned her, but she is required to perform community service through 2020.
Abu Omar’s kidnapping was reportedly a part of George W. Bush’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ program, which involved taking terror suspects to countires where torture is allowed. Abu Omar claimed he was transferred to his home country of Egypt and tortured there, the report says.