Monday, April 25, 2011
'We will unleash a nuclear hellstorm if Osama Bin is killed': Wikileaks releases chilling interrogation files of Guantanamo suspects
More than 200 dangerous international terrorists were detained at the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp - but around 150 more were innocent, leaked documents today disclose.
Some of the most senior al Qaeda commanders were among those rounded up and taken to the Cuban centre. They told interrogators that al Qaeda terrorists threatened to unleash a 'nuclear hellstorm' if Osama Bin Laden were caught or killed - and that there were plots to attack Britain.
But the documents also show that farmers, charity workers and drivers were among those seized on suspicion of terrorist activity. Some of the innocent were taken purely because they wore a 1980s model of Casio watch, which was used as a bomb detonator by terrorists, the files show.
Threat: Al Qaeda terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, right, are said to have promised a nuclear attack if Osama Bin Laden, left, was killed or captured
Disturbing claims: The files obtained from interrogations of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, above, reveal top terrorist commanders' boasts about impending attacks
Thousands of pages of sensitive documents were unveiled by the Washington Post and Daily Telegraph, relating to a decade of interviews in which extremists also admit to plotting attacks against America and across the world.
The top-secret files detailing the interrogations of more than 700 terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp were obtained by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The documents detail the background to the capture of each of the 780 people who have passed through the Cuban facility, along with their medical condition and the information they have provided during interrogations.
Around 220 of those detained are assessed to be dangerous international terrorists, while around 380 are judged to be lower-level foot-soldiers.
At least a further 150 people, including innocent Afghans and Pakistanis, were held and assessed at the U.S. camp, but later released due to lack of evidence, according to the files.
The camp - which President Obama pledged to close, and then failed to do so - has long been controversial because of the use of waterboarding, or simulated drowning, and sleep deprivation on inmates.
The documents seen by the Washington Post and Daily Telegraph confirm that the Americans have seized more than 100 Al Qaeda terrorists - the most senior being Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the operational commander of Al Qaeda accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks.
His file is said to reveal he was plotting attacks in Asia, Africa, America and Britain.
It concludes: 'Detainee had numerous plots and plans for operations targeting the US, its allies, and its interests worldwide.
'Detainees plan was to make U.S. citizens suffer, especially economically, which would put pressure on the U.S. government to change its policies.
'Targeting priorities were determined by initially assessing those that would have the greatest economic impact, and secondly which would awaken people politically.'
The files are also said to disclose that a senior terrorist commander claimed that a nuclear bomb is hidden in Europe and will be detonated if Bin Laden is caught or killed.
Sheikh Mohammed told interrogators that the extremist group would unleash a 'nuclear hellstorm'. They fear the terror group already has uranium.
The 20th 9/11 hijacker also told interrogators that Al Qaeda was seeking to recruit ground-staff at Heathrow to assist them in targeting the world's busiest airport.
A plot to put cyanide in the air-conditioning units of public buildings across America was also exposed.
Guantanamo Bay was opened by the American Government in January 2002 and about 180 people are still held there. Around 600 have been released, either into custody elsewhere or without charge.
The facility was subject to international controversy after torture-style techniques including water-boarding, stress positions and sleep deprivation were approved to be used on prisoners during the Bush administration.
In 2009, 'torture' memos revealed how waterboarding was used 266 times on two key Al Qaeda suspects.
The U.S. Justice Department said that CIA interrogators used the technique 183 times on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and 83 times on another Al Qaeda prisoner, Abu Zubaydah.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that professed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four alleged co-conspirators will be tried at Guantanamo Bay instead of a U.S. civilian court.
The decision by the Obama administration was an about-face from earlier plans to have the five go on trial in civilian federal court in New York, just blocks away from where the World Trade Centre used to stand.
The announcement created intense political opposition among Republicans and even some Democrats, particularly in New York, as well as the relatives of the 2,976 people who perished in the 9/11 terror attacks.
It was just last month that President Obama lifted the ban on military trials he imposed two years ago.
Posted by Cole at 5:17 AM