U.S.: Ex-Guantanamo prisoners ‘rejoined fight’
Puerto Rico ? Former Guantanamo detainees have organized a jailbreak in Afghanistan, kidnapped Chinese engineers and taken leadership positions with the Taliban, the U.S. military said Tuesday.
The former detainees were released from the prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba from 2002 to 2004 by claiming to be innocent or low-level figures, the military said in a statement, responding to questions about ex-prisoners who have allegedly resumed fighting.
The Pentagon gave brief descriptions of six detainees, including two it said were killed in fighting in Afghanistan, which the U.S. invaded to oust the Taliban regime following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
The statement suggested that the six were released from Guantanamo by mistake.
“These former detainees successfully lied to U.S. officials, sometimes for over three years,” said Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.
Last week, a Pentagon official, Joseph Benkert, testified to Congress that about 30 former detainees have rejoined the fight against the United States. Other U.S. officials have made similar claims about prisoners at Guantanamo, where the military now holds about 380 men mostly on suspicion of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
Guantanamo critics have been skeptical of the claims, saying they are part of a U.S. campaign to justify the detention of hundreds of men without charges at the remote base.