World Europe 22 Feb 2017 UK govt paid $1.25 m ...

UK govt paid $1.25 mn to British ISIS bomber for Guantanamo detention

DECCAN CHRONICLE / AFP
Published Feb 22, 2017, 11:26 am IST
Updated Feb 22, 2017, 12:03 pm IST
Jamal Udeen al-Harith was captured by US forces and sent to Guantanamo Bay detention camp in 2002.
Jamal Udeen al-Harith, the British ISIS suicide bomber. (Photo: AP)
 Jamal Udeen al-Harith, the British ISIS suicide bomber. (Photo: AP)

London: A suicide bomber from the Islamic State group was a British citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, a family member told The Times newspaper on Wednesday.

According to a report in Daily Mail, Jamal Udeen al-Harith was captured by US forces and sent to the detention camp in 2002. He was released two years later following a campaign by then government led by Tony Blair.

 

After returning home, Jamal filed a compensation claim, alleging that the British agents were also involved in the torture he suffered during detention. The UK government reportedly gave him £1million ($1.25million) as compensation for keeping quiet on the issue.

An image released by ISIS and published on Monday by the SITE Intelligence Group was confirmed as al-Harith by his brother Leon Jameson, AFP reported.

"It is him, I can tell by his smile. If it is true then I’ve lost a brother, so another family (member) gone," Jameson told The Times.

 

Channel 4 News cited an unnamed family member and another anonymous source as confirming Harith was pictured.

The photograph shows him smiling, dressed in camouflage clothing and appearing to be sat in a vehicle with wires and switches in the background.

The British government said it could not verify the reports.

"The UK has advised for some time against all travel to Syria, and against all travel to large parts of Iraq.

"As all UK consular services are suspended in Syria and greatly limited in Iraq, it is extremely difficult to confirm the whereabouts and status of British nationals in these areas," a spokeswoman told AFP.

 

Harith, a Muslim convert of Jamaican origin who was born Ronald Fiddler, was jailed in Afghanistan by the ruling Taliban because he held a British passport.

After the regime was toppled he was arrested by US troops in early 2002 and sent to Guantanamo, where he alleged he experienced beatings and degrading treatment.

On returning to Britain in 2004 he was briefly questioned by police and released without charge.

Harith travelled to Turkey and crossed into Syria in April 2014, the BBC reported citing Islamic State registration papers.

 

The following year his wife, Shukee Begum, travelled to Syria along with her five children in what she said was an effort to convince her husband to abandon IS.

After being reunited with Harith she was not allowed to leave IS territory and was smuggled out, she told Channel 4.

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