Monday, April 25, 2011

Wikileaks: Many at Guantanamo 'not dangerous' -- even innocent

Files obtained by the website Wikileaks have revealed that the US believed many of those held at Guantanamo Bay were innocent or only low-level operatives.

The files, published in US and European newspapers, are assessments of all 780 people ever held at the facility.

They show that about 220 were classed as dangerous terrorists, but 150 were innocent Afghans and Pakistanis.

The Pentagon said the files' release could damage anti-terrorism efforts.

The latest documents have been published on Wikileaks,the Guardian, the New York Times and in other newspapers, although it was not clear whether the papers had co-operated with Wikileaks in their release. The Times said they received the files through "another source".

The Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) also give details of alleged plots, revealed under interrogation, against US and European targets.

They included unverified claims that al-Qaeda had hidden a nuclear weapon in Europe for detonation should Osama Bin laden be captured.

Other alleged plots include plans to put cyanide into the air conditioning systems of US public buildings and attempts by al-Qaeda to recruit workers at London's Heathrow Airport.

But the files give little information on the allegations of harsh treatment and interrogation techniques at the camp.

The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Washington says many of the details have been heard before in various forms, but never from an official US source. (read more)