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Ex Guantanamo detainee says MI5 aided US in torture

Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed, claimed today that he would not have faced rendition and torture if it was not for the involvement of the Security Service, MI5.

Mr Mohmed, a UK resident who was released last week after seven years in captivity, said that MI5 officers helped US agents to interrogate him following his arrest in Pakistan in 2002.

He told the BBC Radio 4 today programme that he believed that it was their involvement which led to him being transferred to Morocco where he says that he was tortured.

"If it wasn't for the British involvement right at the beginning of the interrogations in Pakistan, and suggestions that were made by MI5 to the Americans of how to get me to respond, I don't think I would have gone to Morocco," he said.

"It was that initial help that MI5 gave to America that led me through the seven years of what I went through."

Mr Mohamed, an Ethiopian national, said that he had originally travelled to Afghanistan in 2001 after converting to Islam.

"I decided to take a journey to Afghanistan as any 21, 22-year-old would do. Just go and see a part of the world and learn about what's happening over there," he said.

"I was trying to understand Islam and I was told that Afghanistan was where the real Islam was."

He said that during his detention in Pakistan – where he was arrested for travelling on a false passport – he was questioned by a MI5 officer who called himself John.

Following his removal by the Americans to a secret site in Morocco he said that he was interrogated by local officers who asked him questions supplied by British intelligence, showing hundreds of photographs of Muslim men living in the UK.

"Most of the questions I was asked could not have come from anywhere else but British intelligence," he said.

"I was shocked because there I was in Pakistan talking to John on how is going to help me and I find out that the way he is going to help me is by forcing the Americans to question me on things I had no idea about."

The Government has consistently said that it does not solicit or condone the use of torture. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith referred Mr Mohamed's claims to the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland of Asthal, when they first surfaced last year.

Mr Mohamed, who is now living in a secret location in southern England, said that he had been left feeling "dead" by his experiences.

"Even now I don't feel I am free. I don't have the regular person's feelings that people have. The feelings of happiness and sadness, I still don't have them," he said.

 
 
 

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