British Intelligence ‘Recruited Terror Suspects in U.S. Custody’
7 May 09 | PTV
The UK intelligence agency MI5 tried to recruit ‘terror suspects’ in U.S. custody, a British daily claims.
At the beginning of the United States’ so-called ‘war on terror’, MI5 agents approached several of the detainees with tempting proposals to ensure their cooperation with US and British interrogators, The Independent reported on Wednesday.
Working under aliases, the agents traveled to the Guantanamo detention center and other US facilities overseas to recruit prisoners.
The disclosure, made by a former agent, exposed as many as five visits made to Guantanamo and US prisons in Afghanistan by the agents, who would offer the British nationals among the suspects, immunity from prosecution by their US captors and a chance to return to their homeland.
One of the inmates was Omar Deghayes, who has claimed that British officials made their ordeal in US detention worse and regularly brought up ‘false’ cases against the prisoners.
He says he was contacted by an agent named ‘Andrew’ in Afghanistan in 2002. Andrew then promised that if “he helped him and the United States’ interrogators he would go back home.”
However, Deghayes refused and was forced to spend five years of ‘torture and misery’ at Guantanamo.
Richard Belmar, another British prisoner, claims the agents had offered him good payment in exchange for information and promised him a job at MI5 in the future.
The newspaper also quoted the source as saying that the intelligence agency failed to fulfill the pledges.
“[The agents] fear they will be hung out to dry. This is not the first time that field agents have been made to carry the can even when there is a paper trail all the way to the top authorizing the action and conduct of the agents,” he claimed.