Just 6 days after president-elect Donald Trump for the end of all detainee releases from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying in a tweet that those who remain are "extremely dangerous people" who "should not be allowed back onto the battlefield," The Daily Mail reports a jihadi from Britain who claims to be a former Guantanamo Bay detainee has fled to Syria where he is now fighting for Al Qaeda.
The terrorist – who has dubbed himself Abu Mugheera Al-Britani, meaning ‘from Britain’ – has written in detail about his experience in the notorious US prison camp.
Although Al-Britani’s real identity has not been established, at least 16 UK nationals and residents were held at the military camp in Cuba.
U.S. officials have said that about 30 percent of released detainees are suspected to have returned to the battlefield, including at least 12 freed during the administration of President George W. Bush who went on to launch attacks that killed about a half-dozen Americans. The exact number remains classified.
Al-Britani claims he ‘spent years’ at Guantanamo Bay, where more than 700 of the world’s most dangerous Islamic terrorists were imprisoned in the aftermath of 9/11.
In an online magazine for fanatics, he writes: ‘Sitting in the blessed land of al-Shaam [Greater 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.’
Al-Britani is the second British ex-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, had fled to Syria to join Islamic State (IS).
At the time, he was reportedly fighting near Aleppo.
Al-Britani, who claims to be in his 30s, says he was in Afghanistan when the US-led coalition invaded the country in 2001.
He claims that he was based in the Tora Bora mountains when US troops arrived hunting for then Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden. Al-Britani and ten others were ordered to cross into Pakistan, where locals would help them travel to Lahore.
As WaPo notes, the Obama administration has repatriated or resettled 179 prisoners, cutting the population from 242 when Bush left office. At its peak, the detention center housed more than 700 prisoners.
There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017