A suicide bomber who attacked a military base in Iraq this week was a former Guantanamo Bay detainee freed in 2004 after Britain lobbied for his release, raising questions about the ability of security services to track the whereabouts of potential terrorists.
The Islamic State group identified the bomber as Abu Zakariya al-Britani, and two British security officials also confirmed the man was a 50-year-old Briton formerly known as Ronald Fiddler and as Jamal al-Harith.
He was one of 16 men paid a total of 10 million pounds (now worth $12.4 million) in compensation in 2010, when the British government settled a lawsuit alleging its intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, according to the officials.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Al-Harith was a web designer and convert to Islam when he set off on a visit to a religious retreat in Pakistan in October 2001. He says he was warned the country was not safe due to deep anti-British and American sentiment in the days before the U.S. attack on Afghanistan, and decided to return to Europe by land via Iran and Turkey.
Instead, he said he was detained at gunpoint near the border with Afghanistan and turned over to the Taliban, which charged him with being a British spy, beat him and threw him in jail. A couple of months later he was liberated by the Northern Alliance and allowed to call home. He told his family he would be back soon, but instead was turned over to the Americans and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Like many others, he claims he was tortured there.
This article continues at [Stream.org] Iraqi Suicide Bomber Was Ex-Gitmo Detainee