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Former Gitmo Detainees Wage Lawfare in the UK

Giving al Qaeda a helping hand.

10:05 AM, Mar 2, 2010 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
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A foreign government service told U.S. intelligence authorities that Deghayes and another individual deposited $225,774 in an account held at Bank al Taqwa on December 22, 1994 and received $45,762 from that same account on May 25, 1996. Bank al Taqwa, which is based in the Bahamas, is a known Muslim Brotherhood account that funnels money to terrorist organizations. The U.S. has designated the bank a terrorist front.

Finally, Gitmo officials alleged that Martin Mubanga joined al Qaeda in October 2000, received weapons and “urban warfare” training at the aforementioned al Farouq training camp, and then served on the front lines near Kabul, Afghanistan. In late 2001, Mubanga traveled to Zambia with “forged documents provided by a facilitator.” He was detained there in March 2002, as he was allegedly preparing to travel to the U.S. While in custody, Mubanga reportedly “stated that he was tasked to look into a list of 33 largely New York-based Jewish organizations” and “he received instructions to carry out violence against one, if not all, of the groups.” During his CSRT at Gitmo, Mubanga attempted to retract these admissions, claiming that he was under “excessive duress” when he made them.

These are the men who have launched a multi-year, multi-million dollar inquiry in the UK. Some will be quick to accept their claims of abuse and torture at face value, even though they have every incentive to exaggerate or invent their stories. After all, the UK government is currently investigating itself, and there is far less attention being paid to who these men really are.

From al Qaeda’s perspective, this is lawfare at its best. For those who oppose al Qaeda, it is lawfare at its worst. 

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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