Only 3 of 116 Remaining Guantánamo Prisoners were Captured by Americans…and 52 Have Already been Cleared for Release
Guantanamo Bay has long been synonymous with the U.S., which has operated the notorious military prison for terrorism suspects since 2001. But it turns out that very few of those still held at Guantanamo were captured by American forces or intelligence operatives.
Of the 116 men still detained at the facility in Cuba, only three were apprehended by U.S. forces, according to The Guardian. The three are Pakistani Saifullah Paracha and Afghans Abdul Zahir and Obaidullah.
Pakistan was responsible for capturing the majority of the detainees: 68. Afghanistan contributed another 30, with the remaining 15 captured by nations that included Georgia, Turkey, Mauritania, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Thailand, Somalia, Kenya and Iran.
There are questions about the guilt of those captured by other than U.S. forces, according to Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian. He wrote, “the reality that nearly 85% of detentions at Guantánamo stem from foreign partners with their own interests in round-ups – overwhelmingly of Arab men in south Asian countries – rarely factors into the heated rhetoric from conservative politicians who warn of dire consequences should Barack Obama finally close the facility.”
Laura Pitter of Human Rights Watch told The Guardian: “There is great reason to disbelieve claims that detainees at Guantánamo are the ‘worst of the worst’, including the fact that many were sold to the U.S. for a bounty, not based on any real quality intelligence the U.S. had gathered.”
Even some U.S. officials, including former Guantánamo prosecutors, consider the worst-of-the-worst assessment “overblown,” Ackerman wrote, particularly for the 52 men who were approved for release five years ago but continue to be held at the facility.
To Learn More:
Only Three of 116 Guantánamo Detainees Were Captured by U.S. Forces (by Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian)
Who’s Still Being Held at Guantánamo (Miami Herald)
Prisoners: Who’s Still Held? (CloseGuantanamo.org)
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