Guantanamo Bay inmate flees UK to join Isis in Syria

Jamal al-Harith was reportedly given £1m in compensation by Britain after claiming he was mistreated

Samuel Osborne
Sunday 11 October 2015 12:06 BST
Military Police guard Taliban and al Qaeda detainees in orange jumpsuits 11 January 2002
Military Police guard Taliban and al Qaeda detainees in orange jumpsuits 11 January 2002 (Getty)

A terror suspect freed from Guantanamo Bay and given £1m in compensation by Britain has reportedly fled to Syria to join Isis.

It is believed that Jamal al-Harith, a Muslim convert formerly known as Ronald Fiddler, traveled to Syria 18 months ago to join up with the Islamist organisation, Channel 4 reports.

Questions have been raised as to how al-Harith was able to leave the UK to join Isis.

Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz told the programme he would be asking Home Secretary Theresa May for an explanation.

"Whether or not this was known to the authorities we will have to find out, but it is extraordinary that this happened to him after the assurances that had been given both by the British government and others about why he should be released from Guantanamo Bay.

"This is something that needs to be pursued," he said.

Al-Harith was flown to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 after being captured in Afghanistan by US troops.

US authorities considered that he was "probably involved in a former terrorist attack against the US". He was assessed as being an al-Qaeda fighter and considered a "high threat to the US".

After campaigning by Tony Blair's government, al-Harith was let out two years later. He then launched a compensation claim, on the grounds British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment, and was given £1m in compensation by Britain, the Daily Mail reports.

At the time of his release, then Home Secretary David Blunkett said: "No one who is returend... will actually be a threat to the security of the British people."

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in