ISIS suicide bomber in Iraq was former Guantanamo prisoner
An ISIS suicide bomber in Iraq who detonated a truck bomb at an army base outside Mosul has been identified as a British citizen who was held at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo, Cuba.
Ronald Fiddler, also known as Jamal al-Harith after he converted to Islam in the 1990s, was captured in a Taliban prison in 2002. He was suspected of having links to Osama bin Laden and was transferred to Guantanamo.
Al-Harith claimed he was mistreated at the prison camp and that British agents were complicit. He was transferred back to the U.K. in 2004 and was awarded a million pounds in compensation.
He was announced as a suicide bomber who targeted coalition forces outside Mosul this week when ISIS released a picture of him smiling in a 4x4 that was seen in video footage speeding down a track. ISIS claimed Harith caused multiple casualties, according to the Times of London.
Harith, 50, traveled to
Syriato join the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, in 2014, raising fears that the money given to him had been passed on to ISIS. He was known to fellow militants as Abu-Zakariya al-Britani.
Harith, who was accused of having links to Osama bin Laden, was held in Guantanamo Bay without charge for two years after he was discovered in a Taliban prison in Afghanistan in 2001, the Times of London reported.
Manchester-born Harith's brother Leon Jameson told the newspaper that his brother "wasted his life."
"It is him, I can tell by his smile," he said of the ISIS image. "If it is true then I've lost a brother, so another family (member) gone."
Memo to ISIS: Make sure you send a thank-you note to the British government. A million pounds buys a lot of bombs to kill innocent civilians and enemy soldiers.
The families of those Iraqi soldiers who died in this suicide bombing should also sue the British government. If a terrorist can soak the Brits for a million pounds, what do you think grieving families can get?
Of course, opponents of Gitmo will claim that Harith was a simple man, minding his own business, until he was thrown into prison at Gitmo and radicalized there. He'd still be tending sheep or whatever he did in Afghanistan before he was turned into a terrorist by being incarcerated.
Of all the false narratives connected to Gitmo, this one stinks the most. Harith was in jail for a reason – and he wasn't in there sleeping off a bender from the night before. He was originally held by the U.S. because he had knowledge of "Taliban treatment of prisoners and interrogation tactics." But after a few months, additional intelligence fingered Harith as an AQ operative.
Upon his transfer back to the U.K., then-home secretary David Blunkett said: "No one who is returned ... will actually be a threat to the security of the British people." Well, no one is perfect.
A propaganda coup for ISIS and a black mark on British justice.