Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Abu Mugheera from Guantanamo Bay to Syria - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

London – A British extremist who has been formerly detained in Guantanamo Bay detainee fled to Syria and is now fighting for al-Qaeda.

The terrorist – who dubbed himself Abu Mugheera al-Britani– has written in detailed memoire about his experience in the notorious U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo.

Britani’s real identity has not been identified or established yet; at least 16 U.K. nationals and residents were held at the military camp in Cuba.

Another British extremist, who was also held in Guantanamo, also fled to Syria to fight with ISIS. The story posted on the Daily Mail raises concerns that some freed terror suspects have not abandoned their fanatical ideology and could remain a threat to the public. It raises fears that compensation paid to former inmates for their years in prison, is helping to fund terrorism.

It is worth mentioning that all UK-related Guantanamo inmates who have been released have received a total of £20 million in High Court compensation paid for by the British taxpayer.

The money was handed over to former detainees who sued MI5 and MI6 for complicity in their alleged torture at the hands of the Americans.

Abu Mugheera claimed he ‘spent years’ at Guantanamo Bay, where more than 700 of the world’s most dangerous terrorists were imprisoned in the aftermath of 9/11.

In an online magazine for radicals, Abu Mugheera wrote: “Sitting in the blessed land of Syria, reflecting on those weeks and days spent behind bars, I thank Allah for releasing me and providing me with the opportunity of carrying out jihad in his path again.”

The Daily Mail considers the return of Abu Mugheera to al-Qaeda a confirmation that former detainees at Guantanamo maintain their radical ideologies. He is the second British former Guantanamo detainee known to have fled to Syria to join jihadi groups. In October, it was reported that Muslim convert Jamal al-Harith, from Manchester, escaped to Syria to join ISIS.

After being detained for two years, Harith was released from Guantanamo in 2004. He was arrested in Kandahar by U.S. troops in February 2002. He received around £1 million in compensation from the British government, which he is feared to have spent to flee to Syria and fund terrorism.

Abu Mugheera claims to be in his 30s. He said he was in Afghanistan when the U.S.-led coalition invaded the country in 2001.

He claimed, as well, that he was based in the Tora Bora Mountains when U.S. troops arrived hunting for then Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

Harith, 48, was arrested in Afghanistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo for two years without being charged with any crime or sentenced. If it is confirmed that he returned to Syria and joined ISIS, several angry reactions are expected to rise in Britain.

Sunday Times claims it can confirm that Harith left to Syria in April 2014, using charity work as his cover. His wife and family joined him later on.

Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz announced that he would be asking Home Secretary Theresa May for an explanation.

“Whether or not this was known to the authorities we will have to find out, but it is extraordinary that this happened to him after the assurances that had been given both by the British government and others about why he should be released from Guantanamo Bay,” said Vaz.

“This is something that needs to be pursued,” he added.

Back then, orders were issued for Harith and ten other militants to cross over to Pakistan where locals would help them. When they arrived, they were met by Pakistani soldiers, who told them they would escort them. But the next day, the troops drove them to a military camp and imprisoned them, later handing them to the Americans.

British Foreign Office said last night it could not ascertain who Abu Mugheera was.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube