Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Reportedly Turns ISIS Bomber

Relative says man in ISIS photo is Jamal al-Harith
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2017 9:33 AM CST
Ex-Guantanamo Detainee Reportedly Turns ISIS Bomber
The scene of a car bomb explosion in Mosul on Nov. 16, 2016.   (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

A man compensated by the UK government following his release from Guantanamo Bay in 2004 has reportedly died in a suicide bombing targeting a military base in Iraq. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack Monday, sharing a photo of the smiling British suicide bomber it identified as Abu Zakariya al-Britani moments before he is said to have driven one of four explosive-laden SUVs toward the base in Mosul, per the Sun. A relative tells the Times the man is Jamal al-Harith, born Ronald Fiddler. Al-Harith was held at Guantanamo for two years after US forces found him imprisoned by the Taliban in 2002 and determined he had tried to join the terrorist group and was involved in a "terrorist attack against the US."

But al-Harith was never questioned about an attack and the Taliban viewed him as a British spy, reports the Guardian. He was eventually freed and awarded $1.25 million for alleged mistreatment after the British Home Secretary said he wouldn't be "a threat to the security of the British people." A former counterterror strategist for the UK government admits "we failed to be aware of what Fiddler was up to" in the years after his release even though he was a "high-profile figure," per the Guardian. Al-Harith's wife previously said he joined ISIS in Syria in 2014. At least two vehicles reportedly penetrated the military base in Iraq on Monday before exploding. It's unclear how many people died or were injured, but ISIS has claimed "many casualties." (More Guantanamo Bay stories.)

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