9/11: Ex-Guantanamo prisoner shares story of capture with LBC

11 September 2021, 16:04 | Updated: 11 September 2021, 18:24

By Tim Dodd

Mansoor Adayfi, who was a prisoner in Guantanamo for 14 years from the age of 18, shares his story with LBC on the 20 year anniversary of 9/11.

It comes as across the US, UK and the world, commemorations for those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks are being held.

Guantanamo bay was a detention facility used to house Muslim militants and suspected terrorists captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere.

The facility caused worldwide controversy due to alleged violations of the rights of detainees under the Geneva Conventions.

There were also accusations of the torture and abuse of detainees by U.S. authorities.

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Maajid said: "You were taken in Afghanistan, handed over by tribal warlords to the US military without any explanation at the age of 18 and put into Guantanamo bay in camp X-ray for 14 years.

"We know that 86% of detainees at Guantanamo were captured when the US distributed flyers in Pakistan and Afghanistan offering cash bounties for what they considered suspicious people, and it's now been determined that only 8% of inmates held at Guantanamo bay were thought to have any connection with Al-Qaeda."

Read more: 'The terrorists failed': Boris Johnson reflects on 20 years from 9/11

Mr Adayfi explained what happened to him: "I was in a research mission in Afghanistan, doing research on Al-Qaeda and other Taliban roles and so on.

"A friend of mine who was working for a charity organisation, got an instruction from Saudi Arabia to liquidate and dissipate all the stuff they had.

"Our last mission we got to a hospital to take some logistic medicine and other stuff... on the way we were ambushed by one of the war lords and they said to get in the car.

"When they found out that America offered a large bounty, I was sold as an Al-Qaeda Egyptian General... I was sent to the black site."

"But you're not even Egyptian?" Maajid asked.

Mr Adayfi replied: "No, I am a Yemeni, I was 18 years old.

"It was a big mess when they came to Afghanistan.

"They just brought in people from different parts of the world under the name of the 'war on terror'.

"They wanted to send a message to the world that we can cross any boundaries and we're not bound by any laws.

"That's what Guantanamo was about, it's a message that we can do whatever we want."

Read more: 9/11: How the devastation unfolded 20 years ago

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