A former Gitmo detainee of Swedish nationality, released to Swedish custody and let go, has been identified as the man who bombed the busload of Israeli tourists yesterday, killing 5 of them and the driver. Medhi Ghazali, 36, is being named by the Bulgarian media as the suspect. The Times of Israel reports:
The Bulgarian reports, rapidly picked up by Hebrew media, posited various versions of how the bomber had detonated the bomb, including the suggestion that the bomber had not intended to die in the blast, but may have wanted to place the bomb on the bus and flee.
Ghezali has a Wikipedia page, which describes him as a Swedish citizen, with Algerian and Finnish origins. He had been held at the US's Guantanamo Bay detainment camp on Cuba from 2002 to 2004, having previously studied at a Muslim religious school and mosque in Britain, and traveled to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, it says. He was taken into custody on suspicion of being an al-Qaeda agent, having been arrested along with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives.
Following a lobbying effort by Swedish prime minister Göran Persson, Guantanamo authorities recommended Ghezali be transferred to another country for continued detainment, and he was handed over to Swedish authorities in 2004. The Swedish government did not press charges.
A 2005 Swedish documentary about the Guantanamo Bay detention camp starred Ghezali, who detailed his experience in American custody.
One has to wonder if he was portrayed as a victim, or even a hero, in that Swedish documentary. If these reports are all true, those Swedish diplomats who worked to release him have blood on their hands.
Hat tip: David Paulin